Reuben Oates lives in Mountain River, south of Hobart in Tasmania. His father, Leigh Oates, provided Reuben the inspiration and tools to commence painting in 2004. He is the youngest Aboriginal artist to be represented at Art Mob. Reuben is seventh great grandson to tribal warrior, Chief Mannalargenna (Dolly Dalrymple line).
Reuben uses representations of Tasmanian native animals and bright and bold colours to tell stories of culture, travelling, family, community and connection.
Storytelling has been at the core of Aboriginal culture in Tasmania for generations and Reuben knows and understands the importance of storytelling. He finds joy in painting stories, whether it be stories of his own, a story of Aboriginal culture or a story for the viewer to discover.
At the age of 27, Reuben says ‘I’m starting to find my groove and purpose in regards to my art and direction’, art is a powerful thing, it allows you to feel something and takes you to another place’.
His aim is to make people feel something when they look at his artwork, whether it’s a personal connection or an emotion.
What ever it may be he hopes his art impacts others in a positive way.