Memoirs of Fleeting Moments
THE GLASS ART OF MEL GEORGE
Mel George is an artist who uses glass to echo the fragility of a moment. Her works are often described as abstract narrative as there is always a story behind her choice of colours. Profile by Dr Al Munro.
TIME, place and memory, and the ephemeral relationship between the three, have long been the driving force underpinning the art practice of Mel George. Working glass, a medium itself with a potentially fragile nature, George’s work tries to capture these fleeting moments, her longings for both her Australian and US homes, and her desire to stay connected to family both past and present. George is driven to make art in an attempt to make sense of these shifting relationships, the ebb and flow of time, and a life which has seen her travel the world to better understand her place and contribution to it. George undertook a BA (Visual Arts) degree at the ANU School of Art, in Canberra. She studied under the late Stephen Procter, an inspirational teacher and mentor who encouraged George to make what was personally important but to also travel and look widely in order to increase her knowledge about her own making process. George’s student works united her two“families”– her conventional family and her adopted family of the glass community in Canberra. She drew on the rituals and cuisine of her Greek heritage to bring together these two worlds, creating vessels for the serving and sharing of food, which became the central part of workshop feasts. During her studies, her selection as one of four artists chosen to travel to Bullseye Glass in Portland, US, for a short residency, proved to be pivotal. After completing her degree in Canberra, George returned to Bullseye to work, where she remained for 12 years.
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