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This information has been provided by one of our newest members - Bernardo Shirley:


Ceramic artist Araceli Robledo Adams has dived into the sea around Sydney to create an exhibition featuring the marine creatures she encountered there in vibrant colours which appeal as much to the eye as they do to the appetite.

The male Blue Groper and its potential female mate, which is yellow, are eye catching centrepieces of her creative utilitarian collection of plates which will be equally at home mounted decoratively on a wall or on the table in everyday use.

We Sydneyites can see them all for ourselves not ony in the online catalogue (click on the blue link at the bottom of this article) or at but also if we “exercise” very, very slowly past - or even pause at - the window of the MW (maunsell wickes) Gallery at 19 Glenmore Road, Paddington, formerly the Barry Stern Gallery.

You can do that from when the show opens on 14 August 2021 until 29 August 2021.

In her introduction to the exhibition catalogue, Araceli – who was born in Spain, grew up there and in Australia, lived in Canada and England  and settled finally in Sydney in 2012 – says she hopes her works will “elicit wonder and curiosity.”

Well, that worked in my case. I have already learned that all Blue Gropers begin life as females before developing their adult colouring. And if a dominant male dies, the largest female grows, changes colour and sex and takes his place.

Araceli, who has a BA in English, an MA in Marketing and a Diploma of Ceramics (with Distinction), says all of the works were created especially for the exhibition, which she has entitled “Underwater Sydney.”

She hopes that, in the era of accelerating climate change, it will help to raise awareness of our marine environment so that we may be more inclined to value and preserve these  “treasures we have.”

Araceli’s plates focus on a range of species, including the Krasyukova’s Perch, the Goldspot Pigfish, the Banded Morwong,  more “Blues” – the Drummer, the Weed Whiting and the Warehou – the striped Barracuda, Tiger flathead, Old WifeSpiny Deepwater Crab and some of its other relatives,  including the Swift Footed Crab, as well as the elongated and exotic Weedy Seadragon, the Eastern King Wrasse, which is a relative of the gropers, the delicately coloured Five-lined Snapper and the beautifully named Immaculate Glidergoby.

There are also two striking eight round plate sets. The first (25cm) features the pale blue, black and yellow Diamond Fish, the other (just 11 cm) is a homage to the beautiful Soldier Crab.

Araceli says she developed her love of pottery as she grew up in Logroño, in the Rioja region of Spain, surrounded by her family’s cherished collection of antique, hand painted creations from Talavera.

This led her inevitably to the “discovery” of ceramics in Toronto, Canada, and to what she characterises as the “mysteries” of porcelain in NYC’s Greenwich House Pottery.

Araceli describes her approach to the “Underwater Sydney” collection as a nod to hand-coloured 18th century natural history copperplate engravings.

 She monoprints her illustrations on the clay pieces that she also makes.

After a first firing in the kiln, she paints them with watercolour-like washes of underglaze.

Each piece is then meticulously glazed and fired a second time, producing functional artworks that are equally at home in daily use or on the wall.

Araceli says that in respect of commissions triggered by the exhibition, she is happy to paint the same species of fish, as long as it is a different specimen.

The turnaround time is currently between three and six months and applies to the larger sized platters.