michele petrie - clay art


Living and working on the shores of Sydney's Pittwater, my life and my art are heavily influenced by the beauty of my surroundings.
I am a swimmer, a diver, a paddler and a sailor as well as a potter and sculptor.
During the 50 years of my art practice I have witnessed the intrusion of poorly controlled industrial, residential and rural development with the resultant destructive impact it has had on many pristine environments in Australia and, in fact, the world. Our natural habitat, with its indigenous plants and animals, is being destroyed at an alarming rate.
In my art I use whimsical depictions of people and creatures to bring a focus to our interactions with the natural environment. I aim to encourage consideration of how to participate in the rich opportunities afforded to us by our local beaches, waterways and bushland without doing damage to the diverse range of habitats and creatures whose lives depend on them.

Many of my works on the following Gallery Pages explore this engagement.
My "Ironman" and "Ironwoman" have both snagged "bycatch" during their swims! I would love to encourage thinking about the sustainability of commercial fishing methods.
My fish series of works shows how we draw from our egocentric, land-based mindset in the way we think of, and consequently name, our aquatic neighbours. Do they have an intrinsic value or are they only there to serve our needs?
My elderly swimmers (a club to which I now belong) hope to give a voice to our older citizens so that we may value and incorporate their experience and wisdom in the sustainable management of our fragile environment.

Please visit my Gallery pages to see some images of my work.

Michele Petrie.