Discarded doll’s legs recast into work of art

05-Dec-2013

Mel Darr inspects one of her ceramic pieces included in “The Some of Us” student art exhibition at Araluen Arts Centre.

Mel Darr inspects one of her ceramic pieces included in “The Some of Us” student art exhibition at Araluen Arts Centre.


The plastic legs of a child’s doll found abandoned in the red dirt of the Outback have proved an unlikely source of inspiration for a body of work that goes on display at Araluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs tomorrow.

The legs, just 12cm in length, are the central feature of 10 ceramic pieces that will be included in “The Some of Us”, the Charles Darwin University end-of-year student art exhibition.

Visual Arts lecturer Suzi Lyon said the three-day exhibition would feature about 140 works including etchings, sculptures, ceramics, textiles and paintings.

“About 100 students from urban and remote settings have contributed to an exhibition that contains a lot of creative and technically exciting work,” Ms Lyon said.

“It has been fantastic this year watching students develop their skills, and observing works of art progress from simple ideas through to completion.”

One of those students is Mel Darr, whose exploration of play gave rise to a set of bowls and plates featuring the chubby recast legs and feet of a toy doll.

Mel said she found the legs on the fringe of Black Stone, a remote community in Western Australia, several years ago.

“They were there by themselves just sticking up in the sand,” she said.

“I made a cast of them, but didn’t do anything with them until this semester when they became a focal point of my ceramic art studies.”

Each of the slip cast porcelain pieces took between four and eight hours to make.

“They allowed me to explore play and balance as well as develop an appreciation for the technical side of ceramics,” she said.

 “The Some of Us” will open in the Witchetty’s Gallery at Araluen Arts Centre tomorrow Friday 6 December at 6pm. It will run until 8 December. Some of the works will be for sale.

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