About Melanie Hava

Goldman SweetlipsMelanie Hava

Aboriginal name: "Winden" - green pigeon

I am blessed to have been born into interesting and diverse cultures: my father comes from the oldest city in Austria, Enns (Upper Austria) and my mother is from the oldest cultures in the world, Aboriginal people of Australia.  While celebrating my Austrian heritage, I also identify through my Mum's line as a Mamu Aboriginal woman, Dugul-barra and Wari-barra family groups, from the Johnstone River catchment of the Wet Tropics of Far North Queensland and the adjoining Great Barrier Reef sea country.  Reef and rainforest country are important sources for my inspirations. 

I have known from a very young age that I was going to be an artist. While also being a bookworm and a piano player, art was a world that I frequently retreated into as I grew up.  I reckon this is because I was deaf and felt I couldn't join in with groups of people.  As a teen and along with my sister Joelene, we created art on didgeridoos and canvas.  This art sold very quickly in the little, opal mining outback town of Yowah way out back of western Queensland.  This red soil country still influences my works.

When I was in my late teens/early twenties, I started playing around with the ideas of combining my Aboriginal and Austrian inspirations.  I had already tried my style in Aboriginal, Folk and Abstract arts and I had had a successful first exhibition at Outback at Isa Gallery (and right now coming up to a 10 year anniversary exhibition with them).  So at 23 I travelled to Austria to live with my father's family and absorb as much as I could of the Folk and European culture.  More than anything I loved the architecture, inside and out.  The patterns, gold leaf and occassional Swarovski crystal in my works are some things that since then inspire my work!

in 2007 and 2009 I had children: the first a beautiful girl born with Spina Bifida and the other a very energetic boy.  I found myself out of the rat race of paid work and a lot of extra time on my hands (post daughter and pre son that is!).  So I indulged myself with painting every moment that I could.  

I've since joined up with more galleries, had several exhibitions both solo and group, painting in Mount Isa, Toowoomba and Yowah before settling down in beautiful and inspiring Far North Queensland's Cairns city - close at hand to my mother's country and generations past and present.  I'm feeling close with the spirit of rainforest and reef animals and this is coming out in my work.  Also, I'm expanding my past focus by exploring family, culture and country stories and looking forward to where this leads.


Solo Exhibitions

2016 - Reflections at Umi Arts, Cairns

2016 - Reef and Rainforest at Aboriginal Art Gallery, Rotterdam, Netherlands

2015 - Mirages to Rainbows at Outback at Isa's Outback Gallery in August

2014 – Fusion at Tosari Galleries

2013 – UnderArt Gallery, Cairns

2011 - Feature artist at Tosari Galleries

2010 - “From Dust To Thunder,” Tosari Galleries, Toowoomba

2009 - “Indigenously Austr(al)ian,” Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Toowoomba

2005 - “Migaloo Murri,” Outback at Isa, Mount Isa 


Group Exhibitions


2018 - Member's Exhibition, Umi Arts, Cairns

2018 - Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Umi Arts, Darwin

2018 - Stall @ Art Markets, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

2017 - Member's Exhibition, Umi Arts, Cairns

2017 - Manyung Gallery, Mount Eliza

2017 - Hong Kong Affordable Art Fair, Manyung Gallery, Hong Kong

2017 - Stall @ Art Markets, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Cairns

2016 - Member's Exhibition, Umi Arts, Cairns

2016 - Umi Arts Curated Section, Cairns Indigenous Art Far, Cairns

2016 - Stall with Indij Designs @ Art Markets, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Cairns

2015 - Manyung Gallery, Mt Eliza

2015 - Tali Gallery,Rozelle

2015 - Umi Arts Curated Section, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Cairns

2015 - Umi Arts Curated Section, Darwin Art Fair, Darwin

2014 – Manyung gallery, Mt Eliza

2014 - Tali Gallery, Rozelle

2014 – Outback Gallery at Mount Isa

2014 - The Quilpie Museum, Gallery and Visitor Information Centre

2013 – Manyung Gallery, Mt Eliza

2013 - The Quilpie Museum, Gallery and Visitor Information Centre

2012 - Earths Elements, Manyung Gallery, Mt Eliza

2012 - The Quilpie Museum, Gallery and Visitor Information Centre

2008 - Brisbane Women’s Club, Brisbane

2007 - Gulf of Carpentaria and Savannah Indigenous Dreaming’s and Lifestyle exhibition



Reflecting with Melanie Hava Mamu Aboriginal Artist, Whats on & Where To Go, 09/18

Millaa Millaa's New Look Mainstreet, The Cairns Post, 01/06/15

Landscapes Inspire Artist, The Chronicle, 14/06/14

Denise Carter, Melanie Hava combines Australian and Austrian influences in new solo art exhibition at UnderArt Gallery in Cairns, 29/10/13

Ally Martel, “Indigenous Mix,” Highlife Magazine, Spring 2010

Sandy Pottinger, “Artist Shares Imaginative Landscapes,” The Chronicle, 05/06/2010

Rosie O’Sullivan, “Melanie Hava,” Style Magazine, June 2010

Merryl Miller, “From Dust to Thunder,” Style Magazine, June 2010

Sandy Pottinger, “Solo Exhibitions Shape Focal Points for Brave Artists,” The Chronicle, 11/07/2009

Joann Marsh, “Artist Fuses Cultures to Create Work,” The Chronicle, 04/07/2009

Tahnee Watson, “Pair’s Art Becomes Serious Business,” The North West Star, 04/03/2008

Alison Mooney, “Motherhood Influential,” The North West Star, 08/01/2008

Aleisha Orr, “Exhibition Aids Artists,” The North West Star, 15/08/2007

Aleisha Orr, “Exhibition Aids Artists,” The North West Star, 15/08/2007

Mia Ginnivan, “Talented Young Woman,” The North West Star, 10/06/2005


Representing Galleries

Manyung Gallery, Melbourne VIC - view site

Tali Gallery, Sydney NSW - view site  

Eulo Belle Arts and Opal, Eulo QLD - view site

Artlandish Aboriginal Art Gallery, Kununurra WA - view site

Aboriginal Art Gallery, Rotterdam, Netherlands - view site

Terra Nova Gallery, Kuranda QLD - view site

Umi Arts, Cairns QLD

Kiri Kiri Art, Victor Harbor SA

Nissarana Galleries, Noosa, QLD - view Site

Saltwater Gallery, Port Douglas, QLD