Gallerist Tim Melville and his ceramicist partner Tony Sly split their time between Tāmaki Makaurau and Whāingaroa Raglan, where Sly’s wharf-side studio and store is found, and where their home is a 1935 Sholto Smith design about 15 minutes from town in rolling countryside.
In November, the pair is staging exhibitions as part of Tent, a weekend of pop-up art exhibitions and events around the country, presented by the team responsible for the Aotearoa Art Fair.
Melville and Sly were planning to open their home to the public, with a show by Hiria Anderson (Rereahu, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Apakura), whose documenting of everyday lives – the humdrum, the delightful, and sometimes the painful – seems so right in a domestic space. “There’s an intimacy about them that is surprisingly powerful,” says Melville. “She paints things that we all recognise but we don’t notice, so having them painted with such aroha and care, you think about your own life. She brings us together.”
At the studio, Sly has been working with the ceramicist Laurie Steer, known for alien, slightly creepy forms. That is, until the Waikato succumbed to a Covid outbreak that sent the region into Level-3 lockdown. On press day, live events were still on the cards; otherwise it’s all online. “We wanted to welcome people to our home and at Tony’s studio,” says Melville. “That’s still the plan, Covid willing.” Fingers crossed.
November 4-7, 2021
Tony Sly Pottery