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Local artist Maria Romeo: A love of metalwork and sculpture

Maria Romeo’s journey into the world of art is an interesting one. While she has been captivated by the world of art since she was a child, her parents encouraged her to take a more traditional career path. A career in microbiology and genetics followed, and was something Maria loved…until she didn’t.

When her life circumstances changed, Maria knew there was something else she would rather be doing.

“I decided to rethink where I was putting myself all the time,” Maria explains.

“And when my son was about to start school I knew this was my chance to go back and study art.”

We spoke to Maria about her journey into the world of art, her love of metalwork and sculpture, and her long-standing relationship with Edcon Steel.

Benjamin, Friends not Food series

A love of metal work

Part of Maria’s study included sculpture and an introduction to welding and metalwork, and Maria never looked back.

“I loved welding so much!” Maria says.

“And it was because of that 10-week project that I then went and enrolled in the welding courses for people who wanted to join the construction industry.

“So I learned how to weld and passed all the tests for commercial welding.”

“I wanted to use these skills to make art that wouldn’t fall apart,” Maria laughs.

When asked what she believed drew her to welding and fabrication, Maria explains: “I love the concept that something like steel, which everyone sees as something difficult to bend and move and change, is actually so malleable, changeable and formable. But can then have its strength and rigidity as well.”

“I tend to stick with mild steel because its familiar and I’m quite comfortable with it.”

“I do love stainless steel too, but its heavy and a lot harder to work with for my projects.”

Whales, featured at the Australian Museum

Combining her passions into beautiful art

Maria’s fascination with science and the natural world is apparent in her art, with a commitment to living and depicting the motto of “cause no harm”.

“I wanted to be a voice for the voiceless, and my art became an extension of that,” Maria says.

“One of my projects, “Friends not Food” was about minimalism and drawing attention to not only the issue of waste in the environment, but waste of life.”

These values shine through in Maria’s art, which beautifully combine elements of multiple mediums into thought-provoking and inspiring pieces.

Maria’s art has been displayed at the Australian Museum. Commissioned for Sydney’s Northern Beaches Council in 2014, Maria’s whale sculptures were part of the First Australian display.

The steel structures were covered in beautiful woven coloured patches that form their skins, and were created by members of the public in her local community under the instruction and guidance of Indigenous elders as part of the Weaving Bridges Project 2014.

The piece took much planning and structural design in order to have them meet the visual design guidance of local Indigenous artist Jessica Birk.

Interior steel structure for Whales, featured at the Australian Museum

A trusted partnership with Edcon Steel

Maria has been a valued customer at Edcon Steel Brookvale for more than a decade.

“I was introduced to Edcon Steel through my TAFE course back in 2013,” Maria says.

“My teachers recommended Edcon Steel, so I popped in and have never looked back.”

“At the start I had no idea what I was talking about…I would say the wrong thing and give the wrong measurements, but they were so helpful!”

“The fact that I can go in and get a miniscule amount of steel, and that they will custom-cut steel has made it so easy.”

“The team at Brookvale, particularly Helena, are just lovely. And everytime I go in there I come out feeling bigger and better about myself just by talking to the team.”

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