Monday, 29 July 2019

Black Finch Project

Huge nod to THE AMAZING Charlotte Watons for creating and curating this project. 

From her and to date:
The last week or so has seen my phone drain its battery all over again, with multiple articles coming through the media in response to the project. In case you missed them:
Protest art: rallying cry or elegy for the black-throated finch? - The Conversation*
(*This article was done without any interviews or requests for information on the project. So interpret how you will!)
The artwork count is now around 1440, and new subscribers continue to join the project. If you have finished and sent your artwork, the survey will remain open for your feedback until 22nd August.

Most importantly, I didn't wait politicians to end of with a work of art that they could admire and 'forget' the politically action that we artists were requesting.

The resulting work was an action. The work, a hand built black finch form was not fired. The request was to submerge it in water, 'at the place where you make important decisions'.

The raw clay sculpture would then dissolve and disappear, a metaphorical action of what was happening to the Black Throated Finch.



Wrapping raw clay sculptures in black 'shrouds' for delivery in tubes with instructions enclosed.

Be careful.
This is a handcrafted clay bird, little more than dried mud.
It is fragile, birds are fragile as is our earth.
I have made and sent you this small sculpture to call your attention to the plight of the Black Throated Finch.

I ask this of you: an action and reflection.

Find your favourite office glass, fill it with water.
Place this glass in the space where you make your most important decisions.
Take your clay finch and gently drop it into the glass of water.

Watch intently or glance occasionally and you will see the form slowly dissolve.

Every action has a consequence.

I implore you to block the proposed Adani Carmichael mine which will certainly contribute to the mass extinction of the Black Throated Finch.

It is as simple as this single action but the repercussions will be great.

Yours sincerely, Robyn Phelan
Black Finch Project


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
PO Box 15185City East, Queensland 4002

QLD Minister for Environment (and the Arts), Leeanne EnochGPO Box 5078BRISBANE QLD 4001

Federal Environment Minister, Sussan LeyPO Box 672Albury, NSW, 2640

PM Scott MorrisonPO Box 6022, House of Representatives, Parliament HouseCanberra ACT 2600
Senator Matt CanavanPO Box 737Rockhampton QLD 4700

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Holding Space Making Place



May 1st to 5th
Princes Wharf One, Castray Esplanade, Hobart

Memory Bowls - Four Days, Three Capes, Two Hands, One Dolerite Shard, 2018

Hand-pinched & Dolerite shard-textured Southern Ice Porcelain, stains, oxides & stoneware glaze

Pleased to be placing these works about the coast line east of Hobart at the conference in Hobart.

Monday, 8 April 2019

Conversations with a landscape


9 APRIL - 18 MAY 2019
Vitrine members gallery

craft victoria

Conversations with a landscape presents 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 objects respond to a tree and the place in which it grows. The artist would like to acknowledge that this work was made beside the waters and on lands of the Taungurung Clans.

This tree stands majestic and sublime, its imposing size suggesting it is many hundred years old. A vital living thing, a survivor of the colonialising impact of saw milling, the high-country cattle industry,19th century and ongoing farming and leisure activities. It stands on the verge of a stone-filled mountain river, teetering on the boundaries of possessed and Crown lands.

Conversations with a Landscape uses the framed space of a vitrine to propose that we occupy a newly defined place in nature and within the genre of landscape.

The making of these ceramic artefacts is the outcome of a corresponding and complimentary flow of material with a vital connection to place.

Robyn Phelan makes sculptural and ceramic works out of the Elm Place Studios in North Melbourne. Referencing art history, a sense of place, and concern for the environment, her works question ‘what and who are we? For the artist, clay is a material with immense agency and is intrinsic to the universal human experience. Robyn has a diverse range of professional visual arts experience, and is an avid observer and writer of contemporary ceramic practice. Robyn is currently undertaking a Masters by Research at RMIT. She also teachers in Ceramics and Professional Practice.

Installation Preparation - Conversation with a landscape

Installation was straight forward due to measurements and vitrine models (see below).