Paola Balla is a Wemba Wemba & Gunditjmara woman of the Day & Egan Families & is of Italian & Chinese migrant blood. She loves telling stories and listening to storytellers.
A proud Westie, multi disciplinary artist, writer, curator and educator who has lectured with Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit, Victoria University, and instigated the Indigenous Arts & Cultural Program at FCAC and became its first Producer, Indigenous Programs. In 2012, Paola was a Senior Curator in First Peoples exhibition, Melbourne Museum.
Paola’s art and stories put the gaze back on whiteness and colonization by asserting her identity as a sovereign woman and as the descendant of Matriarchs. She speaks of trauma, grief and loss.
Paola has been published in No Dots Down Here, Etchings Indigenous Edition Illura Press, and featured in Artlink Indigenous Blackground 2014 and in 2015 was commissioned by Tony Birch for Weather Stations and by Ellen Van Neervan for The Lifted Brow.
Paola has won the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards Three Dimensional Award in 2011 and 2014 and was highly commended in 2015 and has been shortlisted seven times. Paola won the Premiers Award 2007 and was artist for the Arts Hub Inaugural Peoples Choice Award in collaboration with Singing Bowl Media & FCAC for Blak Side Story.
Balla speaks locally and internationally and was commissioned to curate and Incident in Swanston Street at the City of Melbourne’s City Gallery in 2012 and in 2015 was commissioned as Artist in Residence at Victoria University for Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit.