Friday, June 1, 2012

Local profile - Meredith Plain

It's World Environment Day tomorrow and I can't think of a more fitting person than Meredith to feature today.  Nursery owner, gallery director and ceramic sculptor (and one half of an artistic couple) - she's a woman of many talents!  Bulleen Art & Garden is also one of my favourite places to visit in the north east - it's well worth stopping in if you're travelling through Bulleen or live near the area as it's full of inspiration and surprises whether you have green thumbs or not.
Name: Meredith Plain
Occupation: Gallery Director and ceramic sculptor
Lives/works: Live and have a studio in Eltham, work in Bulleen
How long have you lived/worked here? 27 years
Describe yourself/what you do:
I first discovered the fascination of creating creatures from clay in 1989 after a career as a medical research scientist and have been working in my studio amid the treetops and down the road from Montsalvat since then.  I am drawn to figurative, often humorous works.  My frogs, dragons, people and other creatures seem to develop a life and energy of their own.  I am partly self taught but have worked with other ceramic sculptors, studied some art & ceramics.  I have taken part in many exhibitions; undertaken commissions including the Bulleen Art & Garden 3D mural.

Given my interest in garden sculpture and that Bulleen Art & Garden was our family business, a gallery in a garden centre seemed to be a logical direction to go.  So in 1995 we started the Bolin Bolin Gallery with regular exhibitions.  It gives Bulleen Art & Garden visitors something to see, and introduces a wide range of people to art and hand crafted items who wouldn't think of going to a gallery, as well as providing a much needed outlet for local artists and craftspeople.  It can also be a lot of fun, with murals, sculptures and gallery exhibitions  surprising and entertaining people when they drop in to pick up their seedlings.

Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne's north-east:
This area is often referred to as the Valley of the Arts and I'm sure it has sparked my interest in creative areas.  I have been incredibly lucky to live near Montsalvat and work over the road from Heide. There is a thriving artistic community here and it is  a privilege to be a part of this – both as an artist and organising exhibitions and sales of work for other artists.

And the Yarra River runs through it. The area along the Yarra is a beautiful bit of bush in the middle of suburbia.  I love riding to work along the trails beside the river between Eltham and Bulleen.  And, I can combine gardens and art – both at home with my studio and food garden in a bush setting, and at Bulleen Art & Garden which focuses on art and environment, as well as gardening.

For more information:
Bulleen Art & Garden website
Meredith Plain website
Facebook page
Phone: Bulleen Art & Garden 8850 3030


  1. I LOVE BAAG! It is such a fun and artistic place to buy ones plants. Lovely to hear a bit behind the scenes.

  2. Thanks for your feedback. It's a great place to work at - and there are a lot of people interested in art, gardens, environment, community working htere - and also the customers, artists & suppliers! Meredith