Pitcha Making Fellas
"Pitcha Makin Fellas are all different people with different stories to tell.
We break down the generalisations about Blackfellas. We are learning about our past as we go. We’re making for a better future for all of us now.
We’re making art, no bullshit."
– Pitcha Makin Fellas
Pitcha Makin Fellas are an art collective based on Wadawurrung land in Ballarat, Victoria. The Fellas are about making good art and telling interesting stories; they look at a range of different issues from friendship, food, family, country, mystery, politics, football and nature.
More than that, painting with the Pitcha Makin Fellas is a way to help encourage and develop fine, strong people who work constructively, creatively and carefully for community.
Pitcha Makin Fellas have become known for their powerful advocacy for First Nations people, tongue-in-cheek humour and the signature stamps that they make to create brightly their coloured paintings, which are usually collaboratively made.
Inspired by the histories and cultural traditions of south-eastern Australia, as well as observations, news and public debates, their works range from films, paintings and murals to hand-painted breastplates and a series of ‘Blakfella Time’ clocks.
Pitcha Makin Fellas have exhibited their work at numerous venues and events, including in Australia at the Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne Museum, White Night events in Melbourne and Ballarat, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, National Gallery of Victoria and Art Gallery of Ballarat, MUMA and internationally at the Lumina Luz Festival in Portugal and the United Nation’s Geneva headquarters. In 2017 they published the picture book, ‘What’s in a Name?’, which was included in that year’s List of Notable Books by the Childrens’ Book Council of Australia and features illustrations by the Fellas. They are currently Artists-in-Residence at Federation University Australia, Ballarat. They regularly lead workshops for community and school groups.
Pitcha Makin Fellas originally formed in 2013 out of a group of Koori men who met on a weekly basis to yarn, paint and write. Over the years the collective members have changed. The Fellas current members are Gunditjmara man Ted Laxton and Gunditjmara/Dja Dja Wurrung/Yorta Yorta woman Alison McRae and they are joined for Collective Polyphony by Ted’s niece, Chelly Stewart and Alison’s son Jack Shilvock.