Danie Mellor wins Telstra Aboriginal Art Award

Aboriginal Art Directory | 16.08.09

A paper work exploring the fragile relationship between black and white Australia has won the country's most prestigious indigenous art award.

The mixed media work by Danie Mellor - From Rite to Ritual - is an interesting choice for this year's $40,000 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.

Not only is the work big, bold and mostly blue, it's a far cry from the dot paintings and watercolours normally associated with indigenous art.

``It's different, whether it's controversial I'm not sure,'' Mr Mellor told AAP.

``Sure, the way that things are shown in the work is different to the desert work or bark painting, but in another way it has really strong connections and similarities in terms of the themes and the concepts that a lot of Aboriginal culture and art deals with.''

The work, which beat 93 other finalists in the 26th year of the awards, depicts the elaborate interior of a Masonic lodge.

Within the temple are realistic drawings of Australian animals and ``a group of Aboriginal fellas dancing''.

``It's about the difference between culture and ceremony and initiation and it's a work that contrasts them in a very stark way,'' Mr Mellor said.

URL: http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,25930949-948,00.html

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