Mela Cooke, a sculptor and former physiotherapist, has always held a fascination with the human form. Her artistic process involves using family and friends as models, capturing their essence through a series of photographs taken from different angles to accurately depict the lines of a pose.
Cooke’s medium of choice is bronze, which she finds enables her to achieve great definition and subtlety in her works. She holds a deep appreciation for the medium’s intrinsic beauty and timelessness. Cooke’s focus is on capturing the character of the individual, and translating their essence into the final work.
In recent years, Cooke has concentrated on a series of sculptures entitled ‘women in action’, depicting a range of sportswomen. As a lifelong swimmer, Cooke finds particular inspiration in the swimming form, and has produced a number of notable works in this area.
Cooke’s sculptural range is wide, encompassing smaller indoor works as well as larger outdoor bronzes. Between 2015 and 2022, she undertook the creation of twenty-four outdoor bronzes for the cities of Maryborough and Hervey Bay, Queensland. These sculptures have been installed as part of Maryborough’s Story Trail and in the forecourt of the Hervey Bay Art Gallery.
Cooke’s bronzes can be found in collections across Asia, Europe, the United States, and Australia. Her work has been widely praised for its sensitivity and ability to capture the character of the individual.