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 colonial 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 working.jpeg
Robyn Phelan, Conversation with a Tree - Recording, 2018, digital image.

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.