First Nations Visual Artist

Oscar Sweeney


Oscar Sweeney

Frank Wright’s artwork has made him the man he is today as he will happily tell visitors to Walgett, where he was born and currently works and exhibits. Suffering, as a child, from Meningococcal Septicaemia and later in life from epilepsy, Frank’s life was severely impacted by illness but it did provide the opportunity for him to develop his artwork.

“I started making art when I first got sick as a boy, and for over 20 years it has been a part of my life and how I live”.

Frank moved from Walgett to the North and Central Coast and began his journey into art. On the Central Coast, Frank began working as an artist

exhibiting at local markets and the Gosford art gallery. The work he was producing was so popular that he couldn’t manage the workload.

“As fast as I could paint them, they were selling, I just couldn’t keep up”.

Frank’s artwork reflects local stories and his local cultural experience. Living on the Central Coast, he learned how to explain the art story that he had learned but put his own unique style on it. He realised then, that his work was different and could see the contrast to the work that his counterparts were doing on the coast.

“I remember the way I was taught from my Grandfather and Grandmother, but I just had this style that I could see; I just couldn’t get it out of my head”.

Frank is now a key figure in the Walgett art scene. He is one of the central figures at the Café 64 Gallery and is involved in teaching groups, language groups and supporting other artists to become more active and successful.

“I’ll coordinate the artworks for the artists, working out a price for the artwork with the artists and following that through to sale in the gallery”.

Frank’s energy and enthusiasm for art, and the work of local artists, provides a rich cultural centre for Walgett to develop from. He easily bridges the critical space between creativity and commercial reality, all the while maintaining the link to the cultural stories of the region. For him though, the journey has only just begun.

“The future for me, is to develop and grow and learn; there is always someone I can learn from and something new to experience and understand”.

Access Frank's Modules