Patrick Butcher

Patrick Butcher

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DOB: January 1977
Born: Lockhart River, QLD
COMMUNITY: Lockhart River, QLD

Patrick Butcher is an Aboriginal artist who was born in 1977 in Lockhart River, a community located 800km north of Cairns, on the east coast of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. Lockhart River was established in 1924 when people from five traditional territories in the area were forced in to an Anglican Mission. Despite a tumultuous history, the people of Lockhart River are proud that throughout it all the community has maintained connection with their ngaachi (place/land/country) as well as traditional law, culture and customs.

Patrick has worked with various artistic mediums, including but not limited to Batik, lino-printing and pottery. He was part of the early group of artists, who, in the mid 1990's formed the Lockhart River 'Art Gang'. Lockhart River Aboriginal artists are well known for their bright and vivid use of colour, and Patrick's application of paint has an immediacy that gives his work a Pollock-like effect. There is also a lovely fluidity to his work that makes viewing his art such a pleasurable experience.

Patrick's Aboriginal artworks draw on Dreamtime stories associated with cultural and linguistic traditions and the land and sea which surround his community.

Patrick paints with his left and right hands; he does not use brushes for his works. As such, he is an interesting example of the use of Aboriginal hand painting to communicate his culture via Indigenous artworks.

Patrick has exhibited extensively throughout Australia, and his art has been acquired by a number of State Galleries.

In his spare time, Patrick likes to go spear fishing for stingrays and fish amongst the rocks and offshore. Patrick explains that he likes to make his own spear and have a "yarn" with the elders about bush tucker.


  • Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
  • Wollongong University Collection, Wollongong, NSW
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Fondation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Motiers, Switzerland

Awards and Recognition

2017 Invited to exhibit in the world's first Aboriginal art exhibition to be viewed using 3D glasses, Art Mob Gallery, Hobart


Selected Group Exhibitions

2021 Lockhart Legends II, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2020 Colours of Spring, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2020 Lockhart Art Gang - Sharing Our Stories, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2018 Islands in the Sea, Foundation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Musee de l'art aborigene australien, La Grange, Switzerland
2017 Ngampula Aalkan Nyiiku Maanchima - Mepla: Rise of a new beginning, Art Mob, Hobart
2011 Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
2010 Yakai - We're coming, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
2010 Booker-Lowe Gallery, Houston, Texas, USA
2009 Some of Us, Woolloongabba Gallery, Brisbane
2009 Tandanya Group Show, Adelaide
2008 Emerge Artspace, Perth
2008 Galleries Direct, Sydney
2008 Healing Journeys Show, Cairns
1999-2001 Message Stick, Touring exhibition by 'The Art Gang' from Lockhart River, funded by Visions Australia
1998 Message Stick, Queensland Aboriginal Creations, Brisbane
1997 Mepla Sarbie Art, Lockhart River Art & Culture Centre, Cape York, QLD
1997 Ngana nyiikana - Us painting, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns
1997 Rena Ellen Jones Award, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Warrnambool