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Alumni in the ANU Art Collection: Danie Mellor

Danie Mellor’s 2011 drawing By the shores of History, (A search for meaning; search for a long time ago), was acquired for the ANU Art Collection in 2011.We invited him to provide some insight into his work in the collection, his connection with the ANU and little about his ‘creative life’:

By the Shores of History (a search for meaning; search for a long time ago) imagines a group of rainforest Aboriginal warriors searching for meaning around the early incursions of Captain James Cook. This montage or scene from their journey sees them land at the memorial erected for Cook at Kurnell on the land of the Gweagal people. They find no answers however, only an edifice which stands silently looking over the waters of Botany Bay. This piece is part of the Blue and white series and is connected through theme and imagery with early career works and continuing research into colonial and post colonial visual narratives.

Danie Mellor’s connection with the ANU stems from his time spent as an undergraduate student at the School of Art and Design, and subsequently as a lecturer and a PhD research student.

In 2014, the University of Queensland Art Museum hosted a 10-year retrospective of his practice that toured nationally, and a solo exhibition of his works Primordial: Super Natural Bayi Minyjirral was shown at the National Museum of Scotland as part of the Edinburgh Art and International Festivals.  Major works were created for the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial at QAGOMA in 2015; the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art at AGSA; the Samstag Museum in 2016, and the inaugural Yinchuan Biennale, For an Image, Faster Than Light held at the Yinchuan Museum of Contemporary Art in Ningxia Province, China. Recent projects have included the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Sculpture Commission. Mellor’s monumental photographic piece, Landstory, was acquired by the National Gallery of Australia through the Members Acquisition Fund 2019.

In 2010 Mellor was appointed to the Visual Arts Board at the Australia Council for the Arts and subsequently served as Chair of Artform until 2015. He has lived, worked, travelled and studied in Australia and overseas, and currently works full time from his studio in Bowral, regional NSW.

You can find more about Danie Mellor at  and on Instagram, @daniemellor

Additionally, Mellor’s work features in the MCA and National Gallery Victoria collections, for more information see here:


The Drill Hall Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.