Michael Jalaru Torres

I am a Yawuru and Djugan man from Broome with tribal links to the Gooniyandi people of the Fitzroy Valley. I have spent most of my life in Broome. I lived in Perth to complete my tertiary studies and then moved back to Broome to start a traineeship at Goolarri Media, which focused my learning into all aspects of media.

A significant influence on my life has been the fact that I am a cancer survivor. I had non-Hodgkins disease in 2000 and put my life on hold for 3 years. This was a turning point in my life and creative drive as I felt I was given a second chance. I now have the drive more than ever to succeed and grow as an artist and showcase my art form and personal life experiences.

I had a creative spark about me from a young age, from drawing to photography. I have always had a strong pull in my design to showcase the Kimberley, and the colours and texture of the landscape and people of this region have inspired my work.

I specialise in photography and new media practises such as visual projection, graphic motion design and web applications. Being in a remote area with limited access to any formal media school I have taught myself a range of media art forms which I have utilised continually in my employment with Goolarri. In the past, most of my time has been taken up with commercial graphic and web design work, this has made it a challenge to express myself creatively. In the past 3 years I have focused my interest in my own personal art, particularly photography, and established my own business, "Jalaru Photography" which specialises in photography and graphic design.

Over many years I have seen other artists' work via the internet and on rare gallery visits. Seeing their work hanging in such amazing spaces has inspired me to create and has given me a sense of drive to showcase my work in the same galleries, but also worldwide. At the same time I want to remain grassroots, doing installations on country and in some remote places to use the amazing rugged landscape as a backdrop to my art.

Since starting to focus on photography three or four years ago, I have been constantly trying new techniques and honing my own style. I am developing ways to express the images, not only as printed work but as projections and narration. I hope to learn from international artists on best practices in these areas.

In my graphic design I have used a lot of line work that reflects the landscape of my country, as well as animal designs which I have used in my commercial work. More recently I have started to work in blending both graphic design elements into my photography.

“Bending Light” is a style that I’ve worked on in the past 12 months and is the basis for my creative photography. The "capture through motion" of this style records the colour and texture of the landscape in a unique way and will be the backdrop for my graphic design work.

My photography also includes portraits of local people from the Kimberley and Pilbara regions. I find that capturing people on country gives a truth to the images and the natural light reflects on the images to give them a unique feel. I hope to learn and develop older film photography to capture the people and landscape on country and also develop the film while on country to add to that authentic feel.

Courtesy of Michael Jalaru Torres

Language Group
..Yawuru and Djugan