Allan Mansell was born on 7 May 1957. He lived in many parts of Tasmania including the island communities of the Furneaux group in the Bass Strait. As a child he and his family moved around Tasmania a great deal following seasonal work such as mutton birding, small fruit harvesting and various agricultural work. This was a common experience for Aboriginal children in Tasmania during the 1960’s.
Allan has lived on Bruny Island for the past 14 years where he has developed his artistic skills as a means of expressing his Aboriginality and love of the natural world. Before taking up study at the University of Tasmania Allan was employed by Parks & Wildlife Tasmania. He has studied three years of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree where he majored in print making and studying painting. During this time he exhibited extensively in both collaborative and solo exhibitions.
His images have been used to promote cultural awareness within the wider community.
The artwork that I produce is unique in that the Tasmanian Aboriginal art culture has been lost in a short period of time. Consequently, the images that I create are my own. Because the culture which we had was stolen and discarded I have to create my own symbols. I use my art to tell stories about my past, stories from my family and elders. This artwork reflects my knowledge of the Tasmanian bush. Within my work a political content has emerged.
Currently Allan exhibits full time at Art Mob in Hobart. His works are found in a number of key institutions and private collections locally and overseas.