MEMBERS’ VITRINE GALLERY
Conversations With A Landscape
9 April - 18 May 2019
Conversations With A Landscape will present an investigation into our relationship with Australian landscape.
”I have visited this area of the Victorian high country for many years. All works have been made at the site of investigation, using the pliant material of clay to capture a tangible sense of place.”
These vessels and sculptures respond to a particular eucalyptus, river and surrounding landscape. Measuring 712cm in diameter and thought to be pre-settlement, this tree has significant agency. It grows on the unceded land of the Taungurung people. It stands unharvested, majestic and sublime. A survivor of the colonial impact of saw milling, the high-country cattle industry and 19th century and ongoing farming. It stands as a provocation and reminder of longevity and undocumented history of this place.
Conversations With A Landscape proposes that we occupy a newly redefined place in nature, one that is observant and respectful. These objects explore a way of constructing and acknowledging landscape outside of colonial tropes and actions of consumption, ownership, and labelling.
Robyn Phelan makes sculptural ceramics and works out of the Elm Place Studios in North Melbourne. Ceramic objects, by their very permanence, are keepers of memories and experiences. Reference to art history, a sense of place and concern for the environment inform her work. Clay is a material that has immense agency and is intrinsic to universal human experience. Robyn’s work utilises these conceptual and material connections to ask, ‘what and who are we?’ The artist has a diverse range of professional, visual arts experience. She is a avid observer and writer of contemporary ceramic practice. Robyn's most recent study has been a degree in Ceramics at RMIT where she now teachers in Ceramics and Professional Practice.