Travelling from Wellington, New Zealand, Mel was appointed the Medalta Artists Residency Award by Amy Gogarty in 2013 in conjunction with The Portage Ceramics Awards.
Graduating with a BFA in 1989 from The University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Mel majored in painting. Two years of studying self-devised theatre in Sydney followed this. Her interest in clay was rekindled during a 13-year stint tutoring at a community based art workshop. She also worked in the film and television industry creating huge props and sets for The Lord of the Rings. Ceramics became the main part of her creative practice six years ago and since then she has been a regular exhibitor
in the Portage Ceramic Awards. In 2014 she was included in a major New Zealand survey of contemporary ceramic practice at the Dowse
Art Museum in Wellington, NZ. Mel has recently been commissioned
to create work which is to be included in the New Zealand Ceramics Museum in Whanganui, NZ, which opens in November and spans one hundred years of NZ ceramics practice.
Mel’s creative approach to clay has a focus on materiality. Architecture and objects are traditions associated with ceramics, which she chooses to explore. With a focus on utilizing found discarded materials, the end point of a utilitarian object’s life is the starting point for much of her work.