Mel is a proud Awabakal women of the Wonnarua nation with ties to the Githabul Bundjalung people and has been living and working on Bundjalung Country for the past 15 years.
From a young age Mel experienced a deep and intuitive connection to the land, with a love of geology and fascination with rocks, minerals and soils.
With a long career as a Bush Regenerator, Mel has been caring for country for a long time.
Mel has curated her collection of ochre over many years. Collecting on country brings her a sense of calm, clarity and stillness. Working specifically with ochre, collecting is part of her art practice.
Over many years Mel has painted her daughter with ochre for dance performances, and from this experience Mel felt a calling to work the stunning colours of ochre into her art practice.
The preparation of ochre is a significant and alchemical process, slowly blended and formed into pigment for painting. It is a deeply personal and intuitive journey, a time of connection and acknowledgment of all that have come before her. Working with this ancient medium signifies Mel’s connection to the land, her culture, to her ancestors, their knowledge, lore and wisdom.