Sean Meilak Constructs The Poetics Of Space And Environment


I am a visual artist based in Melbourne working in sculpture, drawing, painting, installation, set, and furniture design. I am interested in the poetics of space, drawing from domestic, public, and constructed environments, the history of art and architecture, and the theatrical environments of cinema. My work aims to create the opportunity for viewers to engage with collective histories, referencing ancient architecture, modern and postmodern art, design, and cinema, in relation to their everyday lives and to project their own personal experience, and situate themselves within potential narratives in relation to my practice.


I studied Painting at Victorian College of the Arts, in Melbourne.


My working process changes depending on what I am working on. For example, if I’m working on a sculptural installation or set design I will create scale models. I really enjoy the process of making models before scaling up. It helps me resolve a piece before its final construction and to see how multiple pieces will work together as an installation or composition. It’s always strange adjusting to the shift in scale when seeing the finished work having viewed it as a model for so long.


I work in a number of materials including wood, plaster, steel, and paint. Most recently I made a series of small sculptures using the technique I learned called Scagliola – creating a marble-like technique using gypsum plaster, oxide pigments, and rabbit skin glue. This technique was developed in Europe in the 17th century as an inexpensive way to imitate marble and was used for inlays, interior architecture features, and columns. Once cast the surface is sanded and filled many times until it is smooth and polished. It is then coated in layers of flax oiled beeswax to add to the translucent marble effect.


My work is inspired and informed by many things including Art, Architecture, design, cinema, gardens, and plants. Artists that inspire me include Giorgio De Chirico, Andy Warhol, the architecture of Carlo Scarpa and Luis Barragan for example, I’m inspired by the cinema of Pedro Almodovar and Michelangelo Antonioni, the Bauhaus and Memphis design movements,


I am currently making work for a large scale installation of sculpture that will be presented and as part of the curated program Beyond at the Melbourne Art Fair in early 2022.


I love a gardening and have a small courtyard garden filled with many plants. I’m always on the look out for rare plants and when I have the chance I like finding new plant stores, nurseries and fairs that stock rare and unusual plant species.


Photography with courtesy of Sean Meilak


Niagara Galleries

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