Mel Brigg

Mel  Brigg

About the Artists:

Mel Brigg’s collection Exodus is based on forced human migration. 

"I remember seeing a photograph in Africa of people walking away from their village like an endless stream of ants. They were walking away from their lives, from the homes and lands of their ancestors.

If they didn’t walk away they would have been killed. The abandoned expressions on their faces and the uncertainty of their journey were powerful and memorable images which would later become the inspiration for the Exodus series." 

Mel Brigg- Artist




2019    The Studio Gallery, Yallingup

2014    Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, Sydney

2012    Work for the Blues, Bluecare

2012    Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, Sydney

2011    Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, Sydney

2010    Art Nuvo Gallery, Buderim

2010    Red Hill Gallery

2009    Wentworth Gallery, Sydney

2008    Art Nuvo Gallery, Buderim

2007    Linton & Kay Gallery

2006    David Hart Gallery

2005    Linton & Kay Gallery

2004    Ron Coles Gallery
2004    Red Hill Gallery

2003    McGrath Gallery

2002    Boyd Gallery

2001    McGrath Gallery

2000    Von Bertouche Gallery
2000    Porters Gallery
2000    Tattersalls Club Art Prize Brisbane

1999    Bush Childrens Art Exhibition

1995    Wagner Art Gallery

1995    Mary McKillop, A tribute commencing at Sydney Powerhouse

1997    SCEGGS REDLAND Art Award
1997    Tattersalls Club Art Prize Brisbane

1993    Wentworth Gallery, Sydney


1989   Gallery Portimao


1989, 1990, 1991  Solent Gallery

1990   Cannon Gallery

1991   Oliver Swan Gallery, Cowes, Isle of Wight


1993 South African Embassy


1971, 1975, 1977  Bloemfontein

1973, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988    Johannesburg

1976, 1978   Nelspruit

1974, 1975   Springs

1974, 1975, 1980, 1990, 2001  Cape Town

1990, 1991   Rustenberg

1992    Swellendam



2019  Beyond Karijini, The Studio Gallery, Yallingup

2017  Easter Exhibition, The Studio Gallery, Yallingup

2016  Spring Exhibition, The Studio Gallery, Yallingup

2015  Easter Exhibition, The Studio Gallery, Yallingup

2012  Moran National Portrait Prize (finalist)

2010  Queensland Health, Child Diabetes fundraising at Hyatt Coolum

2010  Brisbane Lutheran College Art Show, People's Choice Award



2016  Brisbane Rotary Art Spectacular

2014  Royal Queensland Art Society, Finalist in inaugural Queensland Figurative 2014

2012  Finalist - National Portrait Prize, Moran Prizes

2011, 2010 Sorrento Art Exhibition, best in exhibition

2010  Currabubula Art Exhibition, best in exhibition



Book cover by Kalypso Nicolaidis, ‘Exodus, Rechoning, Sacrifice’

Foyer of the SCPH, Queensland

South African Embassies in Singapore, Canada and Belgium

Royal Exchange, London

Total Oil Collection, South Africa

Pellisier Museum, South Africa

Universities of Orange Free State and Stellenbosch, South Africa

Barclays Bank of Australia and South Africa

Standard Bank of South Africa

Numerous town councils and corporations across South Africa

Queensland State Government

Grain Corporation, Sydney

Housing Loans Insurance Corporation, Sydney

Bayer Australia Ltd, Sydney

Sisters of St Joseph, North Sydney

Care Australia

Optus Communications and private collectors throughout Australia

Burrawang West Station Art Collection, NSW, Australia

Mural for Mary McKillop Supercat, Sydney Harbour, Australia

Ehime Women’s College Art Collection, Ehime, Japan



Studio La Primitive Arts Zine, Leading Artist Feature, March 2017

Art Chat, Blog, Interview no 9, 2013

Easel and Me, Blog, painting of the Week: Exodus 2010, 2012

Salt Magazine, July 2010

Profile Magazine, July 2008

Weekender Magazine, feature interview June 2008

Salt Magazine, interview Winter 2008

Noosa Style Magazine, interview June 2008

Style Magazine, interview June 2008

Buderim Weekly, June 2008

Buderim Chronicle, June 2008

Coast Magazine, interview Spring 2008

The Record, winter 2006 cover (St Vincent de Paul)

Bulletin Magazine

Australian Art Collector

Art and Australia 1993

Mary Mc Killop, A Tribute. Limited Edition cover Published by Andrew Wilson. 1995

Mary Mc Killop College Yearbook 1999

In The Picture (Year 8 text book on Australian and International Art) Oxford Press 1996

Reproductions by Swan Press, 1974

Almanac Publishers 1979 - 1990

Associated Industries 1980 – 1990

Dictionary of South African Painters and Sculptors, published by E Read 1988

The Bulletin magazine Australia 1996

The Promised Land by K Schoeman 1979

Auge International Feb 1982 Art and Artists of Southern Africa by Esme Berman


Painting is a spontaneous reaction that happens when the brain sends screwed up, creative messages to the hand,  the hand normally does everything in its power to ignore those signals... the creative brain takes a path to the unknown, and manipulates the moment... that is the path we should follow as artists.  Failing that, we will become commercial entities.  We will lose our gift, and become script writers for the uninformed... and we will leave this world, frustrated and unfulfilled.

I paint not because I want to, but because I must - I am compelled to paint to convey my feelings and my message.  Painting is a powerful way to make a statement about anything that moves you.  You can paint an evocative landscape or you can make graphic comment about social injustice, tragedy and the singularity of the human condition.   Art painted with feeling can remind people of the reality of our planet.  I have the power to reawaken my viewers to the beauty and colour of nature.

My painting is mostly an expression of my love of nature, animals and the wide open spaces of South Africa and Australia.  To be in harmony with my environment is very important to me, as it is to understand it – be it social or political.  So even on the odd occasion I have taken to challenge the system on canvas, somehow the landscape seems to surface

I draw inspiration from the interior regions of Australia. The vastness and intensity of light, combined with the spirituality of the indigenous peoples, are a never ending source of subject matter for me.

I try to portray this in my work by using materials such as sand, bones and skin.  Hints of tribal symbols combined with heavy textures, impart a feeling of the powerful energy forces which surround these desert people – a possible link from the past with Africa where I was born and raised.

What you see in a landscape may give you an overwhelming sense of peace, or it may threaten or intimidate you.  I can paint an evocative landscape or I can make a graphic comment about social injustice, tragedy and the human condition.

There are dozens of artists I admire but I think Van Gogh and Turner had the greatest impact on my early years.  I also enjoy Gaugin, Matisse, Van Dongen, Picasso and Moore.

No doubt as our country changes, so will I, and hopefully grow with it, perhaps in a more abstract expression.  To simplify my subject and possibly become a touch more bold with my brush and palette.  Yet I am always aware of Van Gogh’s words:  “To be able to create something great”.   He often used the word “beautiful” – a word often frowned upon in today’s art circles.  I think time is the greatest teacher, and if one paints honestly – fulfilment will be the greatest reward and for the time being I’m happy with that.

Associated Exhibitions

MEL BRIGG | Journey Through the Red Centre
16 November - 9 December, 2019
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BEYOND KARIJINI: Pilbara & Cheela Plains
One Landscape - 4 Views

Mel Brigg
Lori Pensini
Joanne Duffy
Simon Hemsley

20 April - 9 May, 2019
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IN THE REALM OF NATURE | Christmas Exhibition | 10 Artists
Mel Brigg, Herman Pekel, Britt Mikkelsen, Bronwen Newbury, Di Taylor, Jill Yelland, Norm Wilson, Genevieve Montgomerie, Rob Forlani and Wanda Comrie
15 December, 2018 - 4 January, 2019
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Bronwen Newbury - Janey Emery - Joanne Duffy - Sheila Benford - Eliza Piro - Dorothy Davies - Mel Brigg - Robyn Rankin - Peter Kendall - Carly Le Cerf - Kay Gibson - Tamara Sewoff
22 December, 2017 - 12 January, 2018
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1 December - 24 December, 2017
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Ocean - Artist's Inspiration
25 May - 25 June, 2017
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Spring Exhibition 2016
22 September - 9 October, 2016
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Little Treasures
a showcase of Studio Artists 'Little Treasures'
27 August - 4 September, 2016
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"Inside An Artists Mind"
Features a diverse and dynamic collection of self-portraits from a group of the gallery’s inspiring artists.
2 July - 20 July, 2016
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Easter Exhibition 2016
23 March - 17 April, 2016
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