Entertainment

Artist picks up brush to discover his redemption

Robin Wakkajinda is having an exhibition of his art at the old courthouse opening on Friday night. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times
Robin Wakkajinda is having an exhibition of his art at the old courthouse opening on Friday night. Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times Rob Williams

AFTER 22 years blurred with drugs and alcohol Robin 'Tallman' Wakkajinda found his lifeline in art.

A disadvantaged childhood and limited education led the local Aboriginal artist to go off the rails in his early years.

But inspired by his four children, Mr Wakkajinda has turned his life around and is now mentoring children to break what he called "the cycle".

"I always got into mischief with the drugs and alcohol," he said.

"I never had any guidance, I had no father figure.

"I'm not ashamed to admit that a result of many of theses poor choices was a short stay in the big house (prison).

"The drugs and alcohol ruined the relationships in my life."

An accident in 1999 triggered Mr Wakkajinda to try to become a better person.

High on drugs he punched a window. His injuries required 30,000 internal and external stitches, and he lost muscle in his back and veins in his legs.

"I picked up a paint brush while I was in hospital and started painting straight away," Mr Wakkajinda said.

"Painting is my rehab. It has straightened me out in life."

"I express my feelings through paint and it brings me a lot of harmony."

Mr Wakkajinda, a descendant of the Wakka Wakka Jinda tribe in the South Burnett, has made it his ambition in teach children in the hope they don't make the same decisions he did. He sought assistance through the Indigenous Business Enterprise Centre to turn his hobby into a sustainable profession.

"I've been such a reckless man in the past that I feel I've taken from the community, now it is time for me to give back to the community," he said.

"I'm trying to break the cycle of the generations by being a role model and big brother to them. What I do, my children will follow."

Mr Wakkajinda will unveil his exhibition called Tallman's Gathering at the Old Ipswich Court House on Friday night.

He said his artwork was inspired by his children and the Dreamtime.

"When I dream a bad dream I will paint a bad painting and vice versa," Mr Wakkajinda said.

"If I feel good one day you will see the brightness of colours in my painting."

Tallman's exhibition will open for viewing today, 5pm to 8pm and December 1 and 2 from 9am to 3pm at the Old Ipswich Court House on the corner of East and Roderick Sts.




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Neumann notes the reasons why voters get in early in 2016

INFLUX: Shayne Neumann, pictured at the 2013 pre-poll, says more voters are availing themselves of pre-poll booths in 2016.

Pre-poll voting on the rise as school holidays beckon

Force women work hard to boost state league hopes

Ipswich Force head coach Brad George flanked by his players and assistant coaches.

Double victory at the right time

Hospital expansion adds 81 new beds

HEALTHY INVESTMENT: Mayor Paul Pisasale with St Andrews Private Hospital CEO Chris Went looking over building plans for the new section of the hospital which will see capacity double.

Private hospital's $64 million revamp brings more services

Latest deals and offers

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Perisher has 50cm of snow

Resort to open after 50cm of snow.

Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow to open after 50cm of snaow falls in Perisher valley.

Hey Mumma Exercise

Do you think kids these days need more exercise?

Do you think kids these days need more exercise?

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"