The guest on The Fine Line on Tuesday 3 June was Mel Robson, renowned ceramic artist whose delicate porcelain work is inspired by the relationship between utilitarian objects and personal narrative.Mel has lived in Alice Springs for the past 3 years having come to Alice Springs from Brisbane when her husband took up a job here. Inspired by the local landscape and in particular the flora, Mel spoke of her and her friend Elliat Rich’s new exhibition titled ‘Ghost Gum’ which was showing at the Araluen Art Centre. Their collaborative exhibition using a combination of finely crafted ceramic and reclaimed wood, set to a digital soundscape, was inspired by the shapes, shadows and patterns made when light passes through the overlapping leaves of the Ghost Gum.
Mel revealed how her ceramics practice explores ideas surrounding place and identity and the ways in which one can develop a sense of place and belonging through observation and documentation of the natural world. Using this as her lodestone, Mel was commissioned in 2013 by the Brisbane City Council to create an artwork installed along the bicycle path at the C.T.White Park in Kangaroo Point, which she titled ‘Preservation’.
Mel recounted how she had worked closely with UAP’s workshop on the 4 stylised tree forms which were cast in aluminium and then polished and sandblasted. The final public artwork was arranged in a cluster within the park to reveal, remind and encourage people to reflect upon the diversity and vitality of the site and the relationship between people, flora, fauna and place.
Mel is currently working towards another collaborative exhibition of ‘hand built’ pinch pots which she is hoping to involve as many people in Alice’s community as possible. Her interest in the histories and stories that are embedded in everyday objects, and the ways in which these objects can evoke memory and create connections is how Mel transforms everyday pieces into evocative and contemporary porcelain works that connect between the present and the past.
Jen Standish-White talks with Mel Robson, renowned ceramic artist.
Broadcast: Tuesday 3 June 2014 at 12 noon on 8CCC Community Radio 102.1FM
Producer and Presenter: Jen Standish-White