Biography – Adriano Gemelli

Adriano Gemelli started his art career living and studying at the Dunmoochin artist colony with Clifton Pugh in the early seventies.  Gemelli was one of the few to obtain a studio at the art colony and spent seven years there cutting his artist teeth during the seventies. He produced prints for Cliff Pugh and worked on his own paintings while absorbing the influences of some of Australia best artists such as Fred Williams, John Olsen, Frank Werther, John Perceval and Frank Hodgkinson who also frequented the colony.

After a successful exhibition at Dunmoochin, Gemelli travelled to Europe in 1976 where he studied fumed glass and iridescence, Islamic art, mosaics in Greece and tile production in Turkey and went to Spain to study Goya and Gaudi.

A number of solo exhibitions of paintings followed, in both New South Wales and Victoria, and he became a committee member of the Victorian Contemporary Art Centre for five years then in the early eighties became the Chairman of the Victorian Artworkers’ Union. In 1984 he became a member of the UNESCO Steering Committee, International Association of Artists.

Gemelli’s sculptural works began to gain prominence and in 1981 he was invited to produce a work for the First Australian Triennial Sculpture show at Latrobe University, Melbourne. Titled “Any way but out” and measuring 40m x 40m the sculpture was created using steel mesh in the shape of a house with multiple sides creating a moiré effect centred around a boat with glass fence – a comment on social values and the environment.

In 1983 he was created a large scale mosaic wall at Glendonald school for deaf children as part of the Victorian Ministry of the Arts, Artists in Schools program. Measuring 18m x 6m the mosaic wall was constructed of mirror, black glass, fumed glass, etched glass, acrylic and metals. Other major sculptural works are the War memorial at Frankston and Dandenong.

In 1984 he was appointed Art Co-ordinator – Consultant to Victoria’s 150th Celebrations in conjunction with the Ministry for the Arts, Victoria and took up various teaching and lecturing positions. In 1992 he was invited to exhibit in a group exhibition “Ruebens and the Italian Renaissance” at the National Gallery of Victoria.

After viewing an exhibition of the work of Hundertwasser in the early 90’s he started experimenting with metallic foils, however he felt that the use of hot stamping foil Hundertwaser used lacked flexibility as a medium as he wanted to use it.  He then cam across reflective hologram with its spectral colour range and set about developing a technique that offered the ability to use the reflective hologram as freely as any other art medium i.e. drawing and form.

In 1998 he was granted a patent on this technique and he started work on a series of works titled “Sea & Water”. The next few years saw a number of exhibitions at various galleries in Melbourne using this technique and combining it with other mediums, gold and silver.

Over the course of his career, he has repeatedly renewed his artistic approach.


Make someone happy with a phone call’ – Soho London 1978 Silver Jubilee year- Digital print – 1200mm x 2420mm

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