National Gallery of Canada buys work by Queenslander Danie Mellor

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Maba-I-Bala Rugu (of Power in Darkness) by Danie Mellor

Queensland Arts Minister Ian Walker has congratulated Queensland Indigenous artist Danie Mellor on his international success, with the National Gallery of Canada purchasing a major work.

Mr Walker said the Gallery’s purchase of Mr Mellor’s triptych Maba-I-Bala Rugu (of Power in Darkness) showed the benefits of the Newman Government’s arts programs.

“Danie Mellor, born in Mackay, is an artist whose star is on the rise,” Mr Walker said.

“The Newman Government provided $25,000 to support Mr Mellor to show his work in the Berlin Art Fair in September 2013, where he appeared alongside fellow Queensland artists Brian Robinson and Christian Thompson.

“The showcase attracted international attention and led to the purchase from the National Gallery of Canada.

“Queenslanders can see Danie Mellor’s work on home turf with the exhibition Danie Mellor: Exotic Lies Sacred Ties, now on display until 27 April at the UQ Art Museum in Brisbane.

“The State Government is committed to the arts sector and we are delivering on our election commitment to give more Queenslanders access to the arts.

“The success of Danie Mellor also shows the benefits of the Backing Indigenous Arts International Arts Initiative.”

Mr Walker said Danie Mellor’s work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) and private collections nationally and overseas.

UQ Art Museum Director Dr Campbell Gray said Mr Mellor worked in media including ceramics, drawing and mixed media installation, with an eye to Australia’s colonial past.

“Mr Mellor came to national prominence when he won the 26th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2009 and his work has continued to demand attention for compelling images of this country’s shared history,” Dr Gray said.

Mr Walker said the Backing Indigenous Arts International Arts Partnership Program, delivered by Arts Queensland, helps to build a sustainable and ethical arts industry, taking the unique art of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to the world.

For more information on Danie Mellor: Exotic Lies Sacred Ties go to


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