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Danielle Mate Sullivan

Danielle Mate Sullivan Danielle is a contemporary Aboriginal artist born in Fairfield Sydney NSW, an urban community that is a far reach from remote dust of Brewarrina where her mother came from. Danielle acknowledges her culture through the Kunja peoples of the Cunnamulla region in South Western Queensland. Her respect extends to her broader family and their special places on both sides of the Queensland and New South Wales boarders as they play an important part in shaping who she is today.

Danielle found an early connection with Art while at school and describes this time as a period of personal expression and learning about her own culture in an environment where identifying as a young Aboriginal person amongst a predominantly non-Aboriginal urban community was a difficult thing to do. Her family influences and passion informed her in deciding on formal study undertaking a Bachelor of Creative Arts – Visual Arts and Design, at the University of Wollongong in NSW. Whilst studying, an early recognition of her amazing talent was being selected as one of seven finalists Australia wide in the Dolly Magazine Career Start Competition. As the only Aboriginal artist chosen in the top seven, she was selected for her unique style and vibrant use of colour.

After successfully completing her degree in 2000 Danielle then married and commenced a career in youth health services sector of NSW and as a part-time Artist. Here she shared her knowledge of the Arts through the many youth health education activities and programs. Danielle found working with young people, particularly students in high school tremendously rewarding. Giving them the chance and the gift of art, brought her great love for engaging and teaching. Her work takes young urban Aboriginal people on a journey of self-discovery helping them connect to their culture and create something special that gives them an immediate sense of pride culturally and personally to take forward in their life.

Danielle finds it very difficult to describe in her words 'why' and 'what' brings about the choices she makes with forming and finishing unique artworks. This flows in her choices to broaden other peoples exposure and experiences with contemporary Aboriginal art. In her words for thousands of years culturally Aboriginal people have been using symbolism and art forms to communicate and recount stories and have not been reliant on the use of labelling or using paragraphs of words to share stories.

Danielle Mate Sullivan Being an active Artist, Danielle has held numerous private exhibitions in NSW, Queensland and the ACT. Her momentum in the contemporary Aboriginal Artist circle continues to rise, receiving great praise and recognition from a growing base of supporters. Danielle has exhibited throughout annual State, Regional and Local group exhibitions, successfully winning and being named amongst finalist of various recognised Art Awards. From these exhibitions Danielle has created much interest in her works that have now become part of private collections across Australia and overseas.

Through her continued focus on her personal and professional presence under 'DJMate - Contemporary Aboriginal Artist', many new relationships and opportunities have opened up for her. One relationship in particular has been with the American Embassy in Canberra, where Danielle has had new and exciting opportunities with her art. Notably in 2012 Danielle's work has become part of the Private Collection of The American Ambassador in Canberra ACT and more recently has become part of President Obama's Private Collection, The White House, Washington DC.

Danielle espouses nothing is deliberate about what she does, she clearly states she is not trying to send a message or create reaction. What she does is simply relative to where she is from, where she has been and where she is at in her current belonging.

A guiding influence is her love for Artist Emily Kngwarreye, Danielle relates with how Emily 'moves' her emotionally, spiritually and physically. Danielle is humbled in likening her situation as an artist to her experience with Emily, offering her work for others to be 'moved' and such experiences supporting Danielle in her 'Why'.

Her more significant centrepiece in all of her work is with no doubt her loving family, in husband Shane, children Ethan, Alix and Beau who all bring daily harmony, adventure and purpose to her life. Danielle has progressively developed herself as a contemporary Aboriginal artist and now presents her talents and services under her business brand of 'DJMate'.

What people say

  • "Work seen in Danielle's portfolio and studio space reveals constant authenticity. It's rare to find one person with such varied abilities and skills like what Danielle has."

    Jodie Dench, Camden Council

  • "Danielle's artwork is lively and vibrant which is a true reflection of her character and culture."

    Michael Connolly (Munda-gutta Kulliwari)
    Dreamtime Kullilla-Art

  • "Her professionalism and unique skills provided students with knowledge and understanding of art techniques along with connecting to cultural identity and expressing identity through art."

    Tammy Anderson, Principal, Briar Road Public School

  • We were impressed with Danielle's professional attitude to the project and beyond captivated with her unique artwork. We feel privileged to have worked with Danielle and feel immense gratitude as she went out of her way to help make our project a success."

    Dreamtime Drive

  • "Danielle's support of Youth Solutions goes beyond fundraising. Not only is she incredibly generous, but her passion to support young people in our community in achieving their dreams is an inspiration."

    Geraldine Dean, Chief Executive Officer, Youth Solutions

  • "Danielle arrived, listened to us, discussed what we wanted and made some suggestions. She laid out some samples of her work and we had our favourite very quickly."

    Ron and Kathleen Ryan, (Hornsby Heights)

  • Our 'Endangered Animals' series, featuring Danielle's artworks, have received universal acclaim in our target audiences, both in her ability to reflect the innocent beauty of these vulnerable animals."

    Angus Hartley, Plato Puzzles

  • "It was so easy to work with her; she showed great professionalism went far and beyond our expectations. At one point we had to ask for additional work to the artwork and she was so good to take our extra requests on."

    Raylene Popovich, Barnardos Australia Practice Development Centre

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