This photograph features an “unknown bush painter with paintings of windmills and water tanks. Date: circa 1970s.” After posting the photograph on Facebook this week, the mystery painter was identified thanks to residents of Tennant Creek. It turns out the bush painter was well-known Tennant Creek local Bill Fullwood, an artist, musician and mining pioneer. Bill moved there in 1947, working on the Mount Samuel and Nobles Nob mines. He never left, describing it as “a good little town - it’ll do me.” Bill took up watercolour painting while recovering in Darwin after a mining accident, eventually switching to oil paints. He was hooked, and painted scenes of the Barkly until his death in 2005. It’s often said that every second person in Tennant Creek owns a Bill Fullwood painting.


Image: Library & Archives NT. Artist Bill Fullwood, Northern Territory Government Photographer, 1970, PictureNT, Northern Territory Government Photographer Collection, PH0091/0148


Published: 13 November 2016

Forgotten Territory was a weekly photo column of historic images in the Northern Territory News which I curated from 2016 until 2019 supported by the collections of the Northern Territory Library and other cultural institutions around Australia, as well as local history Facebook groups. 

Click on the images to read the story behind the image.

Warning: May contain images of people who have died.

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These works were made on Arrernte, Larrakia, Gaddigal and Lenape land that was never ceded