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Sean Meilak Takes The 'Shelfie' To New Heights

Studio Visit

Today we share a glimpse into a captivating world, where ancient architectural forms are reimagined as minimalist, contemporary curios.

This is the workspace of multi-disciplinary artist Sean Meilak, who recently hosted us at his Fitzroy studio, offering a sneak peek at some epic works-in-progress.

15th February, 2018

Artist Sean Meilak at work in his studio. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

‘I create in my studio in Fitzroy, in which I have worked for the last 16 years,’ tells Sean. ‘I really love this space and feel really lucky to be able to have worked here for so long.’ Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Studio details. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Sean’s workbench with various studies, prototypes and moulds for his forthcoming installations. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

He is currently working on works for’ Colour and Form’ and ‘Artefacts’, both exhibitions in March, on in Sydney and Melbourne respectively. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Sean Meilak studied painting at Victorian College of the Arts, though his practice has always been more multidisciplinary. ‘Over the years I have worked across a variety of different mediums including, sculpture, drawing, installation, video, and painting,’ he explains. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Sean’s moodboard – whoa!!. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Drawing from his Rotations and Undulations series: ‘Undulations #23’, 2017 pencil on paper above various plaster objects, some of which will be incorporated into his forthcoming installations. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Sculpture in development for ‘Colour and Form’. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Later in the year, I’m looking forward to a solo exhibition with The Design Files, for which I will be producing a series of sculptures and a limited edition series of Lithographs,’ says Sean. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Elle Murrell
Thursday 15th February 2018

‘I am very much interested in blurring the boundaries between still life, set design and mise-en-scene in cinema,’ – Sean Meilak.

We’ve got a bit of an obsession with a well-adorned curiosities shelf (aka a ‘shelfie’), and local artist Sean Meilak is taking his own contemporary iteration to new heights. He’s working on a narrow three-metre shelf laden with elegant plaster forms when we visit his Fitzroy studio. The textures, the forms, that colour palette –  we’re intrigued at first sight, obviously.

This exciting installation will be exhibited as part of the group show ‘Colour and Form’ at Home@735 Gallery in Sydney next month, tying in with Art Month Sydney. The work is inspired by Sean’s ongoing interest in architectural and geometric forms, ruins, and design. ‘I am very much interested in blurring the boundaries between still life, set design and mise-en-scene in cinema, while examining artifice – the artefact and the cultural constructs of display,’ details the VCA-trained artist.

One epic installation comprising multiple artworks isn’t enough for this industrious creative, he’s also currently creating his largest installation yet, this time for the group show: ‘Artefacts’ at Space on Collins in Melbourne next month, as part of Melbourne Design Week. This work delves into furniture design, exploring the way objects are displayed in stores and museums and how this, in turn, dictates so much of the viewing experience.

Visualise if you will: architectural and geometric plaster sculptures, installed on a buffet style plinth, a wall unit-cum-room divider, and a table completely covered in a textured render. ‘…pieces echoing architectural elements, ancient ruins, and postmodern pastiche,’ teases Sean.

The multidisciplinary artist has worked in many mediums over the years including painting, drawing, video, and installation. Most recently, he has placed greater emphasis on sculpture and installation. ‘I became drawn to this after working on a series of still life paintings, based on small sets and assemblages created in the studio,’ explains the 42-year-old. ‘I started making my own geometric and architectural forms out of plaster to add to the sets, and gradually they evolved into artworks in their own right.’

Glancing around Sean’s studio of 16-years (!!), almost every available surface is inhabited by such forms. From ancient Roman ruins, Bauhaus and the Memphis Group, to space design, fashion and film, Sean absorbs his vast array of influences with a deeply contemplative approach. 

‘Colour and Form’
Art Month Sydney
March 1st – April 1st
Home@735 Gallery
735 Bourke Street, Redfern, Sydney

Artefacts
Melbourne Design Week
March 16th – 25th
Space on Collins
278 Collins Street, Melbourne

We also thrilled to let you know we will be hosting a solo exhibition with Sean Meilak at TDF Collect in October this year, for which he will be producing a series of sculptures and a limited edition series of Lithographs for the first time!

Sean Meilak is represented by Niagara Galleries.

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.