Burrinja Climate Change Biennale presents


Michelle Stewart

Dec. 7, 2022 ~ Feb. 12, 2023 | @ The Memo, Healesville

Michelle has a profound concern for the forests and natural landscapes that she lives in. This exhibition brings together works that asseverate this weighty disquiet.

The impacts of human activity on our natural landscapes are clearly seen through mounting data, anecdotally and through simple observation. If one cares to look. With themes of over-consumption, colonialisation and extinction, Michelle is working to express the profound concerns she has for forests that she lives in. From a study of local plant species, to a visual representation of statistical data and a small nod to two of our (Critically Endangered) Victorian State Emblems, the works are all made with recycled glass. Included in the exhibition are some wearable pieces that act as a gentle reminder of the importance of the diversity and connectivity of species. These pieces, when worn, carry the weight of this important message of care.

artist's bio

Michelle works predominantly with recycled materials and glass in particular. She is interested in a low-impact and thoughtful approach to making and utilises her immediate environment to inspire her work. Texture and tactility are dominant components of her pieces.  The forests of the Victorian Central Highlands, on Taungurung, Gunaikurnai and Wurrundjeri Country, where Michelle lives is the focus of her work. She collects bottles from within the forest and along roadsides in this area and processes this material for use. Her work carries an environmental bias that explores notions of anthropogenic impact, and the connectivity of the symbiotic relationships in the forests that she studies. Using a traditional Pâte de Verre technique in an experimental way, Michelle references species loss and hopes to promote discourse and agency of our natural spaces.

Michelle obtained a Bachelor of Fine Art Honours at RMIT in 2018 after completing an Advanced Diploma in Jewellery at Melbourne Polytechnic in 2011. Throughout this time and since, her work has been chosen for multiple Australian and International shows including North America, Germany, the Netherlands the UK and Italy. She has travelled to Canada and Scotland for Arts residencies and in 2018 won a sustainability award for her recycled glasswork in Venice, Italy. In 2022 she has been selected as a finalist in the National Contemporary Jewellery Award at Griffith Regional Gallery, the FUSE glass Prize at the Jam Factory, Adelaide and travelling to Canberra Glassworks and the Australian Design Centre, Sydney and in Glass Chrysalis at the National Art Glass Gallery, Wagga Wagga.

The Memo, Healesville

235 Maroondah Hwy,
Healesville VIC 3777

03 9294 6511

Opening hours: Tues 5-9pm, Wed-Thurs 12-4pm, Fri-Sat 12-9pm, Sun 12-4pm

Join us at the Launch Event @ Burrinja

~ Sat 3 December @ 2pm ~ RSVP HERE

The Burrinja Climate Change Biennale is delivered in partnership with Yarra Ranges Council, Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, and Your Library.

banner image credit
Michelle Stewart, “Marked with an X – The Leadbeater’s Possum and the Under-story”, 2017 (detail)