Olive Joseph

Spinifex Hill Studios

I was born in Geraldton in 1967. My mother is a Noongar woman and my father is a Martu/Wongi man. My stepfather was Croatian. I speak a little bit of Martu Wangka, when the old people speak it I can understand them.

I grew up in Hedland. After I had my son at 16, I travelled to Roebourne where my father was living and learned about culture and bushfoods from my father and my nanna. They told me stories and taught me how to make stew and damper. It was my job to put the stew out on the road for travellers passing by. We always cooked outside by the fire. We slept outside most of the time, under the moon. My father told us a story about the man in the moon. I loved that life, it’s who I am. I love painting my stories, especially dots. I feel so good when I paint them.