Nadia’s exploration of clay began at a very young age. Her father Giuseppe is an earthmover - still jumping on an excavator at 73! When he would return home with his truck, a young Nadia would remove the clumps of orange clay from the mud flaps. ‘I just loved working it through my hands. I would smell it, squish it and try to understand the integrity and language of this material without having to create anything with it.’
A qualified Early Childhood Educator, Nadia became more interested in art when studying at Melbourne University as a mature age student. ‘Architecture, colour, sounds and smells could not be dulled or avoided in the city. Eventually, this woke my senses to the many galleries in the area. From time to time, I would visit the galleries during long lecture breaks.’ Nadia is now a practising artist, along with her work as a specialist clay teacher in kindergarten and primary school settings. She is currently collaborating at Ruyton Early Learning Centre as an Artist in Residence.
Nadia creates her exquisite miniature works from her inner city Melbourne home studio; a space that Nadia describes as ‘small and intimate’. She works with white Raku clay which, when worked with a sponge or tool, creates a wonderful textured appearance. She hand builds, paints and uses sgraffito technique to create miniature eyes, hands, ears and faces that acknowledge some of her favourite artists: Picasso, Dali and Frida. Her works are kept simple, using a monochromatic palette of black, grey and white underglazes.
Owls in arched shrines are common motifs in Nadia’s work due to her reverential love for the bird. ‘I believe their intuitive nature and vision are connected. The owl also happens to be my spirit animal, who I believe witnesses and marvels in nature’s intelligence.’
Nadia’s latest works are inspired by the ‘Lover’s Eyes’ – eye miniatures that were featured in jewellery during the Georgian period, evoking sentiments of love and remembrance. ‘With my eye pieces in particular, the participant or viewer has to consider how they will interpret him/her through the eyes only because the bodies are not revealed, and that experience will be different for each person.’
While Nadia has been creating miniature wall pieces particularly for those who live in small spaces, she also loves the idea that her small works ‘can be held in one’s hands as well as gifted to the ones we love and adore.’
See Forman’s range of stunning Nadia Robertson ceramics here!