Utopian Australia Exhibition: Curator Request Essay

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Utopian Australia Exhibition
Dear, selection committee
As curator I wish to recommend the inclusion of artworks by Danie Mellor and Cia Guo-Qiang for the upcoming exhibition “Utopian Australia – the Lucky Country?”.
Utopia is defined as “an imagined place or state in which everything is perfect”. Danie Mellor and Cia Guo Qiang, both explore this idea of transformation through landscape, culture and country, employing symbols, narratives, traditions and materials to convey their own ideas on Utopia. To persuade you in this decision the deconstructing of the artwork, artists, compositional features and the individual meaning of the artwork and why this fits into the theme of the exhibition will be discussed.
One of the most unique
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Danie Mellor, plays a significant role in the Indigenous/ Torres Strait Islander art world, with multiple awards from many different exhibitions. Through his continuing trademark, appearing in many of his artworks, he uses blue and white drawings and mixed media watercolours in ornate gold frames. These help express his concern with his Indigenous heritage and, with imaginative conceptual depth, describe historical incidents in a way that is also strikingly crafted and decorative. Mellor uses these colours in a number of his pieces and there is a clear reference to an imperial heritage and their association with Spode china designs and Britain’s presence in China in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, whilst simultaneously exploring and colonising Australia. It may also serve to demonstrate a growing influence of Asian culture within Australia.
Mellor’s ‘Cultural Warriors’, possesses many different themes such as the colonial histories, early European settlement and the destruction of native inhabitants. Each message is conveyed through the use of powerful focal points, in this piece the two big kangaroos fighting, by placing them in the center. Their size compared to the rest of the piece, contrasts therefore accentuating their presence, as though they are characters on a stage in front of a backdrop.

The piece has a symmetric appeal. This equality is created through the arrangement of the two kangaroos

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