Mixed media and conceptual artist, Mellor's work investigates cultural differences in perception and the reading of objects in gallery contexts. Also a landscape artist working in print, drawing and painting.
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Dr Danie Mellor, mixed media/conceptual artist was born in Mackay, Queensland in 1971. He began creating art at the age of 19 when he enrolled at the North Adelaide School of Art, gaining a Certificate in Art in 1991. Mellor then went on to study at the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University (ANU) where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Visual) with Honours in 1992 and received the ANU Award in 1994. In 1995 Mellor was accepted into the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, University of Central England, UK where he gained a Masters in Fine Art in 1996. Mellor completed his study when was awarded a PhD from the School of Art at the National Institute of Art at ANU in 2004.
Mellor’s work is varied. He produces landscapes using the mediums of print, drawing and painting but also employs the mediums of ceramics, glass, steel and wood. His work often addresses the entangled histories of Australia’s Indigenous, Colonial and Settler communities and in an interview with the author, Mellor stated that his work “investigates cultural differences in perception and the reading of objects in gallery contexts.”
Mellor has participated in many of Australia’s art awards including 2001’s “The Art of Place – the Heritage Commission’s Art Award”, held at Old Parliament House, Canberra; The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, held each year at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin; and the Fremantle Print Prize and Exhibition. In 2003 Mellor’s work was included in the Queensland Art Gallery’s landmark exhibition, “Story Place – the art of Cape York and the Rainforest” and in 2005 curator Felicity Fenner invited Mellor to show several installation pieces in “Primavera” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Mellor exhibited twice in 2006 in the exhibitions “Voyages of Recovery or An Ongoing Catalogue with Moments of Reason from the Cabinet”, Canberra Museum and Art Gallery and “In memories lie fragile dreams” at Solander Gallery, Canberra. Mellor’s work, including the large installation The contrivance of a vintage wonderland (A magnificent flight of curious fancy for science buffs … a china ark of seductive whimsy … a divinely ordered special attraction … upheld in multifariousness), was included in Culture Warriors, the inaugural National Indigenous Art Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia in 2007.
Mellor’s most recognised works to date are a 2002 mezzotint engraving titled, Atherton in the Tablelands, another mezzotint engraving from 2003 titled Cyathea Cooperi, an earthenware slip cast dog, Kultur Hund, also 2003 and the Blue and White Kangaroo Series in 2007. His work is included in a number of major national and state collections including the National Gallery of Australia, the Queensland Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory among others.
Mellor has worked with and been encouraged by a number of notable artists and arts workers including Petr Herel, Diane Fogwell, Djon Mundine, Fiona Foley, Nigel Lendon, Patsy Payne and Michael Eather. At the time of writing Mellor was lecturing at the Sydney College of Art, Rozelle and dividing his time between Sydney and his home in Canberra.