Carmel Wallace’s art practice focuses on the advantages of a multi-disciplinary exploration of place and its ramifications for environmental awareness and ethics. She gained a PhD in this field from Deakin University in 1999 and has since worked on a number of public artworks and collaborative projects whilst maintaining a regular program of solo and group exhibitions, including seven solo shows at Melbourne’s renowned Gallery 101 in Collins Street, Melbourne. Carmel employs a variety of media in her sculpture, installation and printmaking processes, often incorporating cast-off or recycled materials into her work.
Residencies include SymbioticA, an artistic laboratory in the School of Anatomy & Human Biology at the University of Western Australia that is dedicated to research and hands-on engagement with the life sciences. Her research there focussed on the environment of Lake Clifton and the resulting artworks were part of the national touring exhibition, Adaptation. She has undertaken four international residencies, the most recent being a Vermont Studio Residency in the USA. In 2016 Carmel was selected for a residency and exhibition at the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins and was also invited to participate in the Toolangi Sculpture Trail 2016 20th Anniversary Artist Residency for which she produced her work Bare Bones of Toolangi Forest for the sculpture trail. She is currently an artist in residence at Bayside City Council with a studio in the historic Billilla Mansion in Brighton.
Carmel’s work has been selected for exhibitions including the Blake Prize; the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW; Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe; and Sculpture 2008 – 13 at Toyota Australia, Melbourne. She has also been a finalist in the Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award; the Lorne Sculpture Biennale (2009, 2011, 2014); the Montalto Sculpture Prize (2010, 2011, 2013); the 2010 Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition; the 2015 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize; and others.
Her collaborative work, Illuminated by Fire, Portland (an 18m floating sculpture lit by pyrotechnics), was part of The Light in Winter on the Yarra River at Federation Square, Melbourne in 2011. Major projects also include Walk, where eight artists walked the 270km Great South West Walk track in Victoria and produced interpretative environmental works for a national touring exhibition through NETS Victoria and VISIONS Australia; Fresh and Salty, a Regional Arts Victoria state-wide project addressing the issue of water use; The Stony Rises Project developed by RMIT Design Research Institute; and One River, a Centenary of Canberra project.
Complementing her art practice with teaching, writing and curating, Carmel has held lecturing positions at Deakin University and The University of the Sunshine Coast, and curated exhibitions shown in Melbourne, New York and Sao Paulo.
Acquisitions include the National Library of Australia, the State Library of Victoria, the Baillieu Library at Melbourne University, and The Silk Cut Collection in the National Gallery of Australia.