Saturday 27 February 2021 to Saturday 27 March 2021
Hours: Everyday 9 am – 5 pm (pending COVID-19 restrictions)
Bendigo Pottery, 146 Midlands Hwy, Epsom VIC 3551
Juggling COVID-19 restrictions Melbourne artist, Robyn Phelan’s new ceramic work responds to the natural environment of central Victoria in a solo exhibition at CLAD, Bendigo Pottery.
In an exercise of perfect timing, Robyn negotiated a residency during the uncertainty of COVID-19 restrictions and rural fire bans. Throughout 2020, she inhabited the off-grid studio of master potter, Sandra Bowkett. Her aim was to make new ceramic work in physical dialogue with the bush environment. A motivating factor for this residency was the collaboration with Bowkett and the firing of work in her personal wood kiln.
The resulting exhibition Finding form on Landscape Road is a series of site-responsive, sculptural evocations during 2020, that capture the colour and texture in and around Bowkett’s studio in the Tallarook Ranges, Victoria.
Phelan’s work responded to the local granite geology, in particular the view along Landscape Road, Tallarook. The mighty stone tors that emerge across the hills, ridgelines, and gullies strongly influenced the formal qualities of her sculptural forms. Underfoot, granitic sands and pebbles were gathered and sifted by hand for inclusion in her clay body, which add a textural connection to the site.
Bowkett cares deeply for this land and the environment. Her bourrey box kiln is fueled entirely by windfall and aged Black Wattle trees, cleared from her land. Bowkett’s knowledge and expertise at wood firing were tantamount to the success of this residency. The sculptures in Finding form on Landscape Road, feature blushes of orange and pink hues. This unpredictable colour is the effect of wattle wood ash, carried on drafts of heat within the kiln and melting onto the clay at temperatures up to 1300 degrees Celsius.