Artist Series

Mellaney Roberts

Within/Contained | 2022 - 2023
Unwanted commentary

The Baviaanskloof holds a special place in my heart, stemming from the landscape of my childhood memories. It’s a region characterised by its unique charm, where the houses I encountered were crafted using traditional methods, featuring clay walls and roofs fashioned from reeds. The distinctiveness and rawness of these structures deeply influence the essence of the dome-like sculptures within my artwork.

The convex-like appearance of the forms can also be seen as a dome or a dwelling form of the self, housing emotions and experiences from both the past and present. My sculptures are intricately cut, pierced, or demarcated, to create passages between the physical and the spiritual realm, to encourage viewers to explore the boundaries of identity and the profound silence they encompass.

The sculptural forms are meticulously crafted primarily using clay as the main sculpting material. Employing the hand-building technique enables precise manipulation of the clay, shaping it into distinct forms and facilitating surface embellishment.

To accentuate emotions of containment, weightiness, a sense of morbidity, and mixed feelings, the sculptures’ bodies are deliberately adorned with layers of copper oxide and manganese dioxide. These surface treatments serve to deepen the emotional resonance, fostering an evocative narrative within the artwork.


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