Marking Place & Time - Three Capes

hand-built stoneware clay, glaze & stains

Robyn Phelan
installation approximately h 40 cm w variable d variable. Individually: h 40 w 23 d 16cm, h 34 w 21 d 13 cm, h 20 w 30 d 15 cm

Image: Christopher Sanders Photography

Work made for MATERIAL MEMORIES exhibition at the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery 8 June - 8 September 2018

The exhibition features these fabulous women whose work explores methods of materiality in response to QVMAG’s collection, Sue Buchanan, Janine Combes, Penelope Davis, Eli Giannini, Sarah Jones and Myself. 

Artist Statement   I remember a bleached white sky melding with the sea in the heat of the day which by evening was consumed by a sea mist that rolled in and stayed until morning. I peered over sheer cliffs made from a stone so hard it refuses to crumble but remains vertical and awesome. I marked the land for four days, carrying sustenance through this coastal landscape, footstep after footstep measuring the distance with a physical action of my body, accumulating memories of this place.   Afterwards I ask: How can the ceramic process and clay material embody the place?   This question arises and is a response to two influential works from the QVMAG collection by Tasmanian women, Bea Maddock who was born in Hobart and Trucanini of the Nuenonny Clan.   Bea Maddock’s 'Terra Spiritus... With a Darker Shade of Pale', 1993-1998 is a circumlittoral incised drawing in of the entire coastline of Tasmania, each geographic feature is labelled with both the English and the aboriginal Tasmanian topographic names. The pigments used to make the colour the paper are native Tasmanian ochres. Trucanini’s Woven basket, c.1870, uses fibres of the White Flag Iris, which is particular to the eastern coast of Tasmania.   Both these women make objects with an extricable connection to coastal Tasmania through lived experience and through use of local geology and vegetation. Both works use hand skill to create, making the maker and the time spent making evident and present in the work.