I was fascinated to hear stories of Paddy's earlier pre-contact life and what he did during the years after he was moved out of his traditional country, before he became a famous painter. These conversations filled in a lot of gaps for me and fleshed out a picture of life in the Northern Territory in the days before Aboriginal people came to be appreciated for who they are. It was an often harsh life in a harsh frontier society.

Most of the time Paddy likes to talk about his Dreamings, the subject matter of his paintings, in an attempt ensure that an outsider such as myself gets it. His role as an elder and an educator is of paramount importance to him. In recent times this role includes not only educating young people within his own culture but educating the "kartiya" or outsiders as to what his culture is all about. For Paddy all of this is a means of ensuring his culture's survival. I would guess Paddy's participation in this project which was obviously a huge undertaking for a man of his advanced years, working full time as an in demand painter, represented an opportunity to get the word out in a different way than his paintings alone could — an opportunity to tell his story in his own words.

There were many challenging things about this project for both of us but one of the things I am most proud of is the trust that grew up between us which allowed him to talk freely to me and expect that he would be understood. This in turn allowed me to tell this story with a strong Aboriginal voice, Paddy's voice and those of his friends and family, a challenge which other filmmakers might have shied away from for a variety of reasons. In other films attempting to get to the bottom of what Aboriginal art is all about, the Aboriginal participants often feel more like the objects rather than the subjects of the story.