Philip McLaren

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Philip McLaren is a postmodern aboriginal artist, author, and academic.  His whose current artwork involves pursuing a line of Dhuwi meditations, Dhuwi being the travelling night spirit or soul.  His real Ground Painting photographs are an homage to desert sand painters, capturing the moment before nature reclaims it.  Philip's timber collages are based on Yirrkala art from the Northern Territory and vertical images based on the Pukumani Poles of the Tiwi Islands.  

Philip holds a Doctor of Creative Arts degree, has lectured in Canada, England, France, Spain, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. He has also worked as a professional musician and exhibited paintings and sculpture in London, Toronto, Vancouver, Nassau and Sydney.

Philip is also known for literary fiction, detective stories and thrillers. He has also written non-fiction, social commentary, screenplays and academic essays. Of his seven novels, four have been translated and distributed internationally. Sweet Water - Stolen Land received the 1992 David Unaipon Award for Australian indigenous literature. Murder in Utopia (published in some countries as Utopia) won the 2010 Prix Litteraire des Recits de l'ailleurs, a French prize for foreign literature. He now lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.  Philip worked as a writer, producer, director and editor in film and television; and previously as a set designer, animator, illustrator, graphic designer and scenic artist for networks NBC, CBS and ABC in the USA; CBC and CTV in Canada and the Seven, Nine and Ten Networks in Australia as well the NZBC in New Zealand. He has amassed well over 100 on-screen credits.


  • Sweet Water - Stolen Land (University of Queensland Press, 1993) - historical fiction

  • Scream Black Murder (HarperCollins, 1995) - crime fiction

  • Lightning Mine (HarperCollins, 1999) - thriller

  • There’ll be New Dreams (Magabala Books, 2001) - historical fiction

  • Murder in Utopia

  • West of Eden