Laura Veleff

Prior to the Brickworks’ rich artist history beginning in the 1960’s, and following a period of gold extraction across the local area of Meredith Reef, the Brickworks Gallery site was, as the name suggests, once a brick manufacturing business. Materials were quarried, processed and then fired on site. As characteristic of many locations across the Central Victorian Goldfields, remnants of past industries are very much present and continue to operate on our visual and physical understanding of our local area.

The layered and fascinating history of Brickworks Gallery inspired me to create works that involved a deeper engagement with the site. I collected different materials from the disused quarry on the site; clays from the dry creek bed, and from the side of the dam; and white, yellow and orange ochres from the quarry wall. I processed these clays to make some of the smaller clay pots and used the ochres, with their natural pigments and minerals, to make slip glazes that adorn many of the pieces. Throughout this process, the traditional knowledge and practices of Indigenous peoples, particularly that of the Dja Dja Wurrung (local traditional owners), was at the forefront of my mind. For this ancient knowledge, as well as the use of this land, I give my deep respect and acknowledgment.

There is something immeasurably valuable when materials are taken personally from the land and processed by hand in the making of the work. This time and labour intensive process deepened my knowledge of the geo/physical area, and it also gave me a real and immediate sense of the finite and precious nature of the materials that is intrinsic to this extractive practice. Extractive practices, such as gold and mineral mining, engage complex issues that are necessarily implicated within these industries. The making of pottery relies heavily on such industries for its materials and these issues are therefore also implicated within my own practice.

Whilst these works convey a sense of depth and vastness through the subtle shifts in melted glazes across their surfaces, they also hold within them a narrative of the site; a story of its past and enduring present. These pieces have also become representative of my deep love of nature and profound respect for natural materials and the conflict that exists within the practice of extraction itself.

Available Work

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google