Born in 1950 in South Africa, Mel is self taught and started to paint full time in 1979. An artist whose career spans three decades and several continents, he is noted for his support of institutions such as Child Welfare, Wild Life Trust, Save The Rhino Foundation and exhibitions to draw attention to political situations and anti-apartheid issues. He founded the Swellendam Art Society.
Mel left for Australia in 1993 to settle near Dungog in New South Wales. In Australia he has supported the Sydney City Mission, The Variety Club of Australia and Amnesty International.
His paintings are expansive in their vision, and yet simple and skilled in application. Particularly of note are his beautiful paintings of beaches and landscapes with two or three people to give scale. His skies are famous for the moods they depict. He also is well known for his “Bowl” series of pictures, that have an almost oriental simplicity to them.
His works are in collections all over the world including the South African Embassies in Singapore, Canada and Belgium, the Royal Exchange in London, the Pellisier Museum, Universities of Orange Free State and Stellensbosch in South Africa and Barclays Bank in South Africa and Australia.
The Queensland Government, Grain Corporation Sydney, Optus Communications, Sisters of St Joseph North Sydney and Keanu Reeves all are proud owners of Mel Briggs paintings.
His many exhibitions have been highly successful, and his work continues to be innovative and superbly crafted.