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


Individual exhibitions


Gallery Beneath, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast - 2011
Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, Sydney - 2011, 2012, 2014
Gallery One, Gold Coast - 2011, 2013Art Nuvo Gallery, Buderim - 2008, 2010
Wentworth Gallery, Sydney - 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2008, 2009
Mary McKillop, A tribute 1995 commencing at Sydney Powerhouse, followed by a National Tour. Art Gallery of South Australia and Parliament House in Canberra.
SCEGGS REDLAND Art Award - 1997
Tattersalls Club Art Prize Brisbane - 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
Wagner Art Gallery - 1995
Bush Childrens Art Exhibition - 1999
Von Bertouche Gallery - 2000
Porters Gallery - 2000
McGrath Gallery - 2001, 2003
Boyd Gallery - 2002
Ron Coles Gallery - 2004
Red Hill Gallery - 2004, 2010
Linton & Kay Gallery - 2005, 2007
David Hart Gallery - 2006
Work for the Blues


Bloemfontein - 1971, 1975, 1977
Johannesburg - 1973, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988
Nelspruit - 1976, 1978
Springs - 1974, 1975
Cape Town - 1974, 1975, 1980, 1990, 2001
Rustenberg - 1990, 1991
Swellendam - 1992


Gallery Portimao - 1989


Solent Gallery - 1989, 1990, 1991
Cannon Gallery - 1990
Oliver Swan Gallery, Cowes, Isle of Wight - 1991


South African Embassy - 1993

Selected Group Exhibitions

Moran National Portrait Prize (finalist) - 2012
Brisbane Boys Grammar - 2011
White Canvas Gallery, Brisbane - 2011
Queensland Health, Child Diabetes fundraising at Hyatt Coolum - 2010
Brisbane Lutheran College Art Show, People's Choice Award - 2010
Work for the Blues
Blue Care
Cancer Foundation Australia
Skeggs Redlands Show
Brisbane Rotary
Collectors Choice Newcasle NSW
Save the Rhino Foundation RSA
Save QLD


Sorrento Art Exhibition, best in exhibition, 2010, 2011
Currabubula Art Exhibition, best in exhibition, 2010

Corporate Collections

Sunshine Coast  University Private Hospital
Etiad Towers Abu Dabi
Catholic Church  Brisbane
Greenslopes Private Hospital Brisbane
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
Selected Publications

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

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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