After finishing his BFA from Elam School of Fine Arts in 1997 Billy McQueen worked as a print technician at Manukau Institute of Technology Visual Arts School and designer for the Auckland Museum. In 2000 he transitioned into a successful career in advertising winning a number of awards, nationally and international for his work as a creative director. 12 years and 2 children later, McQueen returned to Elam to complete an MFA, graduating in 2015 with 1st Class honours.
McQueen’s is from the Ngati Manawa tribe. His current subject matter is largely drawn from domestic scenes of family life or imagery of, or connected to, ancestral land in the Kaingaroa Plains. While his subject matter is quietly biographical and not political – it’s only a starting point for the artist and secondary to his central aim – which is concerned with painterly substance and surface and the illusionistic spaces it can create. McQueen’s paintings are consciously manipulated and reversed, as a way to investigate traditional painting techniques and the materials employed. In this process, certain abstractions and distortions naturally occur sometimes summoning new and unexpected imagery.
1997 BFA Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland.
2013 PGDip Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland.
2015 MFA (First Class Honours), Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland.
2018 Archive, Antoinette Godkin, Auckland
2016 Abveil, Antoinette Godkin, Auckland
2019 Throwing Dirt at The Sun, nkb Gallery
2019, Small Work Salon, nkb Gallery Auckland
2019, TEDX pop up show with nkb Gallery, Auckland
2018 Big Pop Up Art Show, Big Pop Studios, Auckland
2018 Disintegrating Form, Arthaus Orakei, Auckland
2018 Moonlight, All Press Gallery, Auckland
2017 Graduate Art Fair, Guangzhou, China
2016 Auckland Art Fair, Auckland
2015 30upstairs, Wellington, Traces. Memories. Ghosts.
2015 Elam Masters Graduation Show.
2015 Railway Gallery, Parnell, One Thing for Certain
2015 Elam Postgraduate Graduation Show
1998 George Fraser Gallery, Terminal Lounge
Auckland City Council, Panmure Queen Street Mural
Wallace Arts Trust
Auckland City Council
Private Collections – New Zealand, Australia, Europe & USA