COOKE, Mela

Mela COOKE
Statement:
My sculptures are informed by my enduring interest in portraying and defining the character and beauty of the people in my life.
 
I have always been a ‘people’s person’, and I delight in endeavouring to capture the essence of the personalities of my family and friends in my sculptures. I have been influenced by two sculptors in particular, Constantin Brancusi and Henry Moore, and their work has inspired me to employ strong lines and truthful gestures in order to make my sculptures live.
 
I have worked in various mediums, including marble , but have arrived at the point in my life where my love of the serenity of working in clay, and my appreciation of the beauty & timelessness of bronze, has resulted in my now working solely in this medium.

‘Artist Mela Cooke’s past life as a physiotherapist is apparent in her strikingly realistic style of sculpture, which pays particular attention to the physical form at rest. Her posing figures are not just aesthetically magnificent, they are also imbued with individual human character. Each figure is made from the laborious artisanal process of casting in bronze. First, the artist creates a clay sculpture from which a wax mould is made and coated in a ceramic shell. The wax is then melted out of the ceramic and, in its place, bronze is poured in at a temperature of around 1,200 degrees Celsius. Finally, the sculpture is sandblasted, smoothed with a grinder, and given a patina that is applied by hand. There is a timelessness to this age-old technique but, in Mela’s hands, the final products are brought into the present day through strong lines, subtle gestures, and the portrayal of modern attitudes taken from the artist’s everyday experience.’

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