With an art career spanning 30 years, Daniel is recognised as one of Australia's finest dot artists with works featuring in major corporate and private collections globally.
Daniels says: ‘Visions of landscapes appear to me in dots, sometimes they are familiar and other times they are unknown. It is as if my indigenous ancestors are creating the art through me. The visions of landscape are unpredictable and they stay with me -- almost haunting me -- until they are painted’.
Daniel was born in Sydney and grew up in Redfern. While the assimilation era led to estrangement from his cultural heritage, he reconnected with it later during his working life. Daniel studied art until leaving school in 1988 and while he had excelled at music and art he was raised in a strict family with an ethos of ‘get a real job and use your brain -- art and music is not the way’. Daniel chose to study engineering and joined Qantas. Today we consider him a true renaissance man; from avionics engineer to native title negotiator, CEO to saw miller, architect to builder, landscaping to furniture making and to the fine artisan he is.
Being taught painting techniques by his great uncle and father, he always painted in a fine dot style and the paintings were gifted to family and friends. Daniel always felt he had a responsibility to put something back into the lives and community of his people as his education had provided the opportunity for him to make his own choices in life. In 1997 took this step and Daniel resigned from his position as an Avionics Engineer with Qantas and moved to Western Australia to begin working in Aboriginal Affairs. Daniel spent time in Esperance and then the Pilbara, working for BHP Billiton’s Aboriginal Affairs Department. It was here that he found his ancestral realm while traversing this ancient land negotiating Native Title. He also worked professionally within the community on Palm Island, Queensland and is now a recognised Indigenous Relations Specialist.
He lives and works in an artistic house he built using the natural resources found on the bush property in Pomona, Sunshine Coast Queensland. His painting talents have been discovered and this emerging urban artist sells works quicker than he can paint them, with many of them going to discerning overseas buyers locally and throughout Australia as well as Hong Kong, USA, France, Germany, Switzerland and Japan.
Most elements of his work are intrinsically related to landscape where flora and fauna and ancient land forms provide a rich source of inspiration. His paintings show intricate mapping of a myriad of places and events in abstract form. Daniel’s care and dedication to producing fine, detailed work allows him to create only a limited number of pieces each year and he tends to work in “bursts’ with long periods of reflection between. His main influence comes from the shapes, colours and textures of the landscapes. The unique contrasting areas he has seen on his travels appear in his paintings – ranging from the stark red desert in Western Australia to the rich ocean life surrounding Palm Island.
His paintings have been entered in Telstra NT Art Award and an entry in the Archibald Prize is a personal goal.