Ronald MosquitoSpinifex Hill Studios
“I was born in Derby regional hospital but I grew up in Balgo Hills. I grew up with my family and friends. I lived there most of my life. When I was young I started playing footy with my friends and when I grew older I became a musician. I sing, I’m a frontman. My band is called ‘The Wanatjarra Band’, that’s a scorpion. We sing for our Country, love songs aswell, and hard rock. I write my own lyrics. I used to work at the school as a teaching assistant, and I liked doing the job. I do the language job aswell, with the kids, so they can learn both ways- Kukatja and English. I then decided to do some training, and I did the course through Broome campus. It took me four or five years to graduate in certificate three and four in education. My mum and dad followed me. They were both excited, proud of me. I lost my father recently.. He was an important part of my life. I was in Roebourne Regional at that time, but I’ll never forget my dad. He will always be in my heart.
Most of my life I went to a place called Yagga Yagga, 90 kilometers south of Balgo Hills. That’s a community. We went there for bush hunting, for kangaroo, emu and wild turkey. We had lots of fun back then. Drinking wasn’t a problem back then. I lived there aswell, with my aunty. Yagga Yagga is now a closed community- no funding. Everything there, houses and shops still there, but no funding. My family spread- they went back to Balgo. They can’t take away our culture. It’s very, very strong. Our families are in the cemetery. That’s important to stay with your family, and to pass our stories down to our kids.
I also do interpreting for the courts, to help the lawyers so they can understand what the accused are saying. I speak Kukatja, the main language for us in Balgo.
When I started painting I was only sixteen, seventeen years old, watching my mother. She’s the one who taught me. My father was a musician aswell. I paint dreamtime stories that I learnt from my grandfather. I want to follow his legacy. I have a good feeling when I paint, makes me feel happy and feel strong inside of me. This art centre is a good environment, and I like doing art here because I met some good people.’