Melanie Hava

Born: Mount Isa, 1982 

Language Group: Dyribal language family group,  
Mamu people 

Clans: Dugul-barra and Wari-bara 

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 one of the oldest cultures in the world, the 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.  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 I’ve gleaned from the European side to my heritage. 

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 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, Umi Arts, Cairns  

2016 – Reef and Rainforest Country, Aboriginal Art Galleries, Rotterdam 

2015 -  Mirages to Rainbows, Outback Gallery Mount Isa 

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 

2017 – Land, Sea and Sky, Manyung Gallery, Mount Eliza 

2017 – Freshwater Saltwater, Umi Arts, Cairns 

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

2016 – You and Me Member’s Exhibtion, Umi Arts, Cairns 

2016 – Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Umi Arts, Cairns 

2016 – Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Umi Arts, Darwin 

2015 – Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Umi Arts, Cairns 

2015 – Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Umi Arts, Darwin 

2015 – Manyung Gallery, Mount Eliza 

2014 – Manyung gallery, Mt Eliza 

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 

2013 – Singapore Art Fair, Manyung Gallery, Singapore 

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 



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