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Danie Mellor


Danie Mellor was born at Mackay in 1971. He currently lives in Canberra and teaches in print-media and drawing at the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University, where he is completing a doctorate. His art centres on the rainforest area around Cairns. This region is home to his mother’s family and holds a spiritual and cultural significance for him.

In his printmaking Danie Mellor has mostly used the technique of mezzotint. This process allows subtle gradations of tone and detail and was discovered around the mid eighteenth century. This coincided with colonial settlement in Australia when many of the local plants and animals were illustrated by botanists such as Joseph Banks. In his colonial-style prints Danie Mellor subtly reclaims the landscape by juxtaposing images of native and introduced flora and fauna — for example, a kangaroo with a bull — to symbolise two different peoples and cultures.

More recently Danie Mellor has explored sculptural media, making metal shields and a series of ceramic dogs. The shields are constructed of reclaimed steel and are decorated with contour land maps which resemble the totemic designs of traditional wooden shields and body painting.

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See also . . .

Learn about The ranger, Sea hund (hound), and Wachter dein kultur (Guardian of culture).
Danie Mellor references.

Danie Mellor
Photograph courtesy of the artist

© Queensland Art Gallery  2003

Header image: Black palm. Photograph:
Tony Gwynn-Jones. Image courtesy of Tourism Queensland