Top End Tapestry is a collection of fine hand-crafted ceramic pieces by well-known Katherine artist Danny Murphy. Being born and raised on the banks of the Katherine River, Danny has always been exposed to the delights of the natural world that surrounds him. His close connection to nature and its beauty have played a large role in influencing his latest progression of work, which he ultimately aims to use as a translation to rejoice the beauty of the terrain around him.

A tapestry is often described as an intricate and complex piece of art, which perfectly reflects the depth of an Australian landscape that Danny portrays in his pieces using patterns, brushwork, sgraffito, carving, stamping and terra sigillata. While the pieces themselves are remarkably decorated, the true meaning behind these works is to admire the beauty around us. Danny aims to emphasize how small we are in the scheme of the universe, and the importance of appreciating the privilege of being alive. The infinite simplicities that the Earth gifts us are often overseen or forgotten in the blur of daily routines, and the magic of its beauty are consumed by life’s distractions. The reality is that life is short, and you only get one chance at it, marvel at its delights.


Danny Murphy was born and raised in Katherine with his three brothers which remains his permanent home. He was introduced to ceramics at a young age by his mother, who was also a potter. Danny further developed his skills and knowledge by studying ceramics in year 12 where he went on to become a full-time ceramicist. In 1981 Danny built his first gas kiln where he continued to make pots for a living. Danny has mastered the craft of ceramics and has developed a unique and highly recognized style of his own. His greatest influences are the native trees, rustic landscape, sandstone outcrops, red sand, spinifex of Northern and Central Australia and the escarpment of the Katherine River.

Danny’s works are held in many private and corporate collections in Australia and overseas, including Sweden, England, Scotland, Japan, USA, and New Zealand. Some of his numerous achievements are having two pieces acquired by MAGNT, winning the Katherine Prize in 1990, 2006, 2007, 2019 and 2022, and being selected as the official trophy maker for the Waterhouse Natural Art Prize in 2006.

Danny has been a member of the Studio Potters SA in Adelaide since 1990 and has exhibited solo and joint exhibitions on many occasions in the Northern Territory and South Australia.

Danny’s work has been profiled in magazines such as the Journal of Australian Ceramics and more recently in an online Documentary on Channel NT.

Links to Danny’s work can be found below


Top End Tapestry; A Ceramic Collection
Exhibition Opens - 5.30pm, Friday 25 August, 2023
The Tactile Arts bar will be open and snacks are provided. Come and celebrate the new exhibition in the Tactile Arts Gallery.

Tactile Arts Gallery
19 Conacher St, The Gardens NT
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Satursday, 10am - 2pm
(Please Note: The gallery is only open during exhibitions and does not open on public holidays)