BILLY HENSLEY, 21 September – 31 October 2023

AWAKENING, acrylic & beadwork on canvas by Billy Hensley, Chickasaw

In this solo exhibition Chickasaw artist Billy Hensley presents a series of abstract paintings embellished with traditional Indigenous beadwork.

Born and raised in Oklahoma, Hensley is a self-taught artist who draws his inspiration from his life, the history of his family, the Chickasaw people and the world around him. Hensley works mainly in acrylic paint and experiments with a variety of mixed media and textures.


“It is a desire to connect that drives my work and my passion to create. Painting is a way to express day-to-day subject matter. I continuously strive to evolve in my work through experimentation with new techniques and processes.” BH


Several paintings in this exhibition reference the Oklahoma landscape. The textures symbolise Indigenous adornments, such as beadwork and the appliquéd ribbon shirts and ribbon skirts widely worn by Native tribes today. Such colourful attire is a way to celebrate and assert individual and collective Indigenous identity and combat the invisibility of Native people in the mainstream.


Following the success of Billy Hensley’s solo exhibition,’BRIGHT PATH‘ at Rainmaker Gallery in 2019, we are delighted to present his most recent works in this visually rich and culturally profound exhibition.