Dan Murphy is an Alice Springs-based artist, who was born in 1963 in Melbourne, arriving in Alice Springs 1994 and making Central Australia his home. He is renowned for his art made out of scrap metal from cars.

A self taught artist, Dan has established a reputation within the NT and nationally as an innovative sculptor and highly regarded artist.

Dan produces works of small-scale as well as major collector’s pieces and commissions. His works constructed from found metallic materials including fencing wire, roofing iron and old car panels have a distinctive Territory feel. His exhibitions have been highly successful. Over the years, Dan has participated in a number of community arts projects in remote communities and in Alice Springs. These include, facilitating small scale bush toys in Santa Teresa as part of the Fencing Shed Project and constructing a monumental 18 meter long metal caterpillar at the Alice Springs Cultural Precinct.

Dan Murphy works are in public and private collections both in Australia and overseas. Some of his works can be seen around Alice Springs in private and publication locations.

The Araluen Art Centre have a number of his works in their collection, including I’ve Seen The Moon and The other side of Mount Gosse, 1999.

One of the more recent works by Dan Murphy is the larger-than-life sculpture of a perentie installed at the roundabout on Undoolya Road and Sturt Terrace, in the latter part of March 2015.

Installed at the roundabout on Undoolya Road and Sturt Terrace, the sculpture measures about 1m high, and 4.7m long. Originally commission in October 2013, contracted in May 2014 and more then a year in the making, the wonderfully conceived sculpture is a rust-coloured public artwork that was welded from recycled fuel drums with an anti-graffiti finish.

In the grounds of the Araluen Art Centre and Precinct is the collaborative public artwork, Yeperenye Sculpture.

Developed by metal artist Dan Murphy and students from the Centre for Appropriate Technology’s ATWork program.

The three-metre high project celebrates the Yeperenye (pronounced Ayepe-arenye) caterpillar, the most important of the three caterpillars that are the major creative ancestors of Alice Springs.

On entering the Yeperenye Sculpture you will find information and artworks on the caterpillar’s habitat, life cycle and cultural significance.

The caterpillar was decorated with panels created at workshops with local artists and school children.

This project was created by the support of the Grand Circle Foundation. Each year the foundation brings American visitors to Alice Springs. Money raised from their travels contribute to community projects all over the world. The Alice Springs project is the first Grand Circle Foundation Project in Australia.2


Footnote & References

  1. New Perentie sculpture unveiled on Undoolya Rd in Alice Springs, by David Sibenaler, Centralian Advocate / NT News, https://www.ntnews.com.au/news/centralian-advocate/new-perentie-sculpture-unveiled-on-undoolya-rd-in-alice-springs/news-story/34fd638cacb666b54721baa0fc79bc1b
  2. The Yeperenye Sculpture, Araluen Arts Centre, https://araluenartscentre.nt.gov.au/yeperenye-sculpture