Blak Douglas, whose real name is Adam Hill, is an accomplished Australian artist known for his thought-provoking and visually striking artwork. Born in 1970 in Sydney, Australia, Blak Douglas is of both Aboriginal and South Sea Islander descent. He adopted the name “Blak” as a play on the word “black,” signifying his Indigenous heritage, and “Douglas” as a nod to his Scottish ancestry.
Blak Douglas’s artistic practice encompasses a wide range of mediums, including painting, printmaking, street art, and mixed media. His work often combines bold colors, intricate patterns, and powerful symbolism to explore themes related to Aboriginal identity, culture, history, and social issues and injustice. Blak is recognized for his ability to blend traditional Indigenous art forms with contemporary styles, creating a unique visual language that resonates with audiences.
One of the recurring motifs in Blak Douglas’s art is the use of vibrant colors and intricate patterns to depict stories and experiences from his own heritage as well as broader Indigenous narratives. He frequently incorporates text, portraits, and iconic symbols that reference both historical and contemporary aspects of Indigenous culture and struggles.
Blak Douglas’s art is deeply rooted in his commitment to raising awareness about the challenges faced by Indigenous communities, including the ongoing impact of colonization, discrimination, and social inequality. He often engages with viewers through his artwork, encouraging them to reflect on Australia’s history and the ongoing journey towards reconciliation.
Blak Douglas has won numerous awards & prizes, and has had his work exhibited extensively in galleries and art spaces across Australia and internationally. He has also been involved in various community projects, workshops, and public art installations that aim to promote dialogue, understanding, and empowerment within Indigenous communities.
Blak Douglas’ work is significant and profoundly bold in its depiction and message. What we have here is an artist who is completely dedicated to delivering the truth as he has learnt it. Blak particularly focuses on what it means to be an Aboriginal man with part Irish decent in the 21st century, with all the cultural clichés that haunt him and the ironies present within the “Australian Dream”. Born somewhere in between here and there, then and now, Adam Hill aka Blak Douglas has a speakeasy, sometimes comical, slapstick yet totally on point and uncensored attitude towards the establishment and all the pawns in the game. His work is a thrilling and absolutely necessary experience for all Australians!
Art Gallery NSW,
Blacktown, HOTA Qld, Liverpool, Campbelltown, & City of Sydney Councils, Aboriginal Art Museum (Utrecht), Maitland Reginal Art Gallery, National Gallery of Australia, National Maritime Museum, National Museum of Australia, Australian Museum, Town Hall Collection and Taipei Museum.
AWARDS / COMPETITIONS
2022 WINNER – The Archibald Prize, AGNSW
2021 WINNER – The STILL Art Prize, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery
2019 FINALIST – The Kings Art Prize
2019 WINNER – The Kilgour Art Prize, Newcastle Art Gallery
2019 FINALIST – The Archibald Prize, AGNSW
2019 FINALIST- Muswellbrook Art Prize
2018 FINALIST – The Archibald Prize, The Blake Prize, King & Wood Mallesons Contemporary ATSI art prize, Mosman Art Prize, Fishers Ghost Art Award, Blacktown Art Prize, Korean Australian Art Foundation Prize
2017 FINALIST – Mosman Art Prize, Mosman Art Prize, Sydney
2016 FINALIST – Cossack Art Awards, Karatha W.A.
2015 FINALIST – The Archibald Prize
2015 FINALIST – Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize
2014 FINALIST – Mosman Art Prize
2004-9/11-14 FINALIST – Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize (Commended)
2009 HIGHLY COMMENDED – Cricket Art Prize Sydney, FINALIST- Wynne Prize
2003-8 – Telstra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award FINALIST
2008 FINALIST – Mil-Pra Art Prize
2007 FINALIST – The Xstrata Coal Emerging Indigenous Art Award
2006 WINNER – Maria Locke Award, Mil-Pra Art Prize
2005-10 FINALIST – Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize
2004 WINNER – Mil-Pra Art Prize, Artist in Residence, The Canberra Grammar School
2003 WINNER – Mil-Pra Art Prize – Liverpool Council Mayor’s Choice Award
2002 WINNER – Blacktown City Art Prize – Inaugural