Prominent artist and businessman Michael Connolly has continued to produce stunning art and advocate for the rights of Aboriginal people in 2022.
The owner of Clontarf-based Dreamtime Kullilla-Art, is well known in the Moreton Bay Region and beyond for not only his work but for the way he connects with artists in communities and art lovers around the world.
He celebrated 25 years in business last year and was presented with a trophy by Moreton Bay Regional Council and Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism (MBRIT).
Dreamtime Kullilla-Art sells authentic Aboriginal art across Australia and the world, sending money back to the communities he works with.
“We support all the communities in Australia with their products, from handbags, candles to rugs, to table cloths, kitchenware. We sell everything. Even now, we’re getting in the native bush tucker — the herbs, spices,” Michael says.
He stresses the importance of buying authentic indigenous art, saying it’s crucial to keeping the culture alive.
The business has come a long way in the 25 years since Michael started it with just a card table, tarp and 10 digeridoos.
With the support and guidance of wife Jo, he has developed as a businessman and artist taking his work around the world, opening his new Clontarf gallery in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and reaching new customers with a successful online store.
Throughout it all, he has advocated for the rights of genuine Aboriginal artists and railed against the fake art trade.
Mr Connolly says he has worked hard to learn about the business world, develop his art, grow his business and forge trade links around the world.
“It’s been a journey, but it’s been about helping our community, artists and educating people,” he says.
About Michael Connolly
Michael Connolly is from Charleville, southwest Queensland and a descendant of the Kullilla Tribe from the Thargomindah and Eulo region on his father's side and from the Muruwari People from Goodooga and Brewarrina region of north-west New South Wales on his mother's side.
With this rich Indigenous background and a unique way of interpreting his cultural heritage, Michael is able to represent a unique perspective in visual and performing arts.
He is a passionate and highly motivated professional Aboriginal artist and craftsman with excellent people skills and has worked extensively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, business associates and stakeholders, and the general public throughout Australia and around the world.
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