Mel Douglas’ blown and engraved glass vessels are beautifully resolved examples of simplicity, exhibiting a distinct clarity and balance between surface and form. The work suggests a controlled stillness and silence, a meditation on the elements of light, space and time. The creation of the work is integral to the reading of each piece, the slow process of construction evident in the finished object. “I aim to concentrate the viewer’s attention on the proportion and linear relationships of the work. Each line is a unique mark influenced by the object’s physical shape and surface; it is a contour, a stroke, an outline. The repetitious and time-consuming method of mark making is not only a meditative process … it describes a singular moment and a certain place.” By contrast, the artist sees the vessel structure that dominates this work as a type of vortex of time and light. Vessels also invoke notions of providing and consuming. Recently, Mel has begun making two dimensional works using kiln cast glass, a technique she finds interesting as it allows an accumulative approach.
Mel Douglas has gained a significant reputation in Australia and internationally since graduating with 1st class honours from the ANU Institute of the Arts in 2000, and received a Thomas Foundation Pilchuck Student Scholarship to study in the USA. Her work has been exhibited widely in Australia and overseas, and is in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Corning Museum of Glass (USA), Cincinnati Art Museum (USA), Parliament House, National Art Glass Collection at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery and the Canberra Museum and Gallery. In 2002, Mel won the prestigious Ranamok Glass Prize and, in 2007, the LinoTagliapietra Prize of Young Glass 2007 at the Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark.