Visiting the studio of the inspiring ceramic artist Ros Auld

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Visiting the ceramic studio of Ros Auld was a another source of inspiration on our country sojourn. Ros Auld, is a master ceramicist, one of Australia’s leading contemporary ceramicists and  local to the Orange district. In 2012 Ros Auld had a major exhibition at the Bathurst Regional Gallery, and has also exbited at Narek Galleries, Tanja, Cudgegong Gallery, Gulgong, Orange Regional Gallery, Dubbo Regional Gallery, Janet Clayton Gallery, Sydney, and has worked on collaborations with the painter John Olsen, Tim Winters and Gabriella Hegyes. Her work is a powerful physical sculptural manifestation of the landscape in clay.

http://www.janetclaytongallery.com.au/artists_details.php?artistID=135-Ros%20Auld

Ros Auld specializes in slab-built, or thrown and manipulated, stoneware forms decorated with wood ash glazes and trailed and incised slips, coloured oxides and gold lustre. “Her sculptural and functional work is informed by the dynamic forces, surface textures and subtle colours of the Australian landscape.” (Artsite)

“Landscape is my source – more the accumulation of recollected impressions than particular sites. I love the weathered surfaces, textures and subtle colours of the Australian bush, as well as the patterns of cultivated landscapes….The large vessels are an ongoing series, where functional form, painterly surfaces and sculptural form can come together. Surface texture, informed by geology and botany, play a major role in the work..” (from Roa Auld’s Artist Statement, ‘Ros Auld Ceramics’ catalogue, Bathurst Regional Gallery exhibition, 2012)

“Auld’s vessels are signature in the uniqueness of their form. Each sits on low feet, which slightly elevates the object from the ground….The vessel/object is a visual metaphor, a plastic equivalent of a physicality (and simultaneously imagined) place which holds the terrains, marks and spiritual presence of the land..” (from Peter Haynes, University Art Curator, University of Canberra, catalogue essay, also from the Bathurst Regional Gallery exhibition, 2012)

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At the potters wheel

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The studio entrance, and kiln entrance. A wonderful large sheds, work places  you can only create with more space in the country.

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Outdoor sculptures

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Some of Ros Auld’s beautiful generous platters in use

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Thank you Ros for sharing your inspiring studio and beautiful work!

what is it with regional Australia

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What is it with regional Australia?

After not visiting for a while, and I know looking through urban eyes, there can be such a relentless perfunctory practicality and utilitarianism in regional Australia! Not to say this doesn’t exist in urban centers, its undoubtably an Australian characteristic. I think it was Patrick White (the foremost Australian novelists of the 20th century) who said “Australia celebrates the ordinary”

“A pragmatic nation, we tend to confuse reality with surfaces. Perhaps this dedication to surfaces is why we are constantly fooled by the crooks who mostly govern us” (Patrick White, from ‘Flaws in the Glass’, 1981)

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There is also the prevalent proliferation of the mainstream multi national companies, seemingly in every town; McDonalds, KFC, Woolworth’s, Coles.The homogenized sameness.

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Having said all this, I have always loved the country, and there are of course many inspiring individuals and initiatives, that become apparent to the visitor the longer you stay rather than just passing through, and there are the same problems of globalization in the cities and worldwide! On this road trip we did visit some inspiring places. One was the ‘The Old Convent’ at Borenore, just outside of Orange, NSW. A cafe run by chef Josie Chapman (open only on Sundays for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea), also with accommodation and a function space. The convent was once established by the Josephite nuns. The oldest building, a small two-bedroom cottage, was built around 1860, now the self-contained accommodation, and the former church was built during the 1890’s, now the function venue. The ‘new’ convent building was constructed during the 1920’s and incorporated the single room school that was in use until the 1970’s, and now the cafe. My friend Barbara Sweeney of ‘foodandwords’ has taken over the mantle while Josie is away studying futher culinary delights in France. It is a beautiful spot and beautiful food.

http://www.oldconvent.com.au

http://foodandwords.com.au/

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We also stayed at the Black Sheep Inn. Lovely accommodation at Borenore, with the Black Sheep inn, a converted shearing shed, and Whispering Moon Cottage, a former shearers’ quarters. Really nice to see an appreciation of the natural beauty of the bush, with gum trees replanted and reintroduced around Whispering Moon Cottage and the overall property itself, creating a restorative tranquility.

http://www.blacksheepinn.com.au

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There is also the beautiful surrounding countryside, overlooking the Molong Creek valley.

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Christmas at Bathurst, country NSW

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We spent Christmas at my husband’s family just out side of Bathurst, country NSW. There something about Christmas, that laconic passage of those few days, where time stands still in suburban homes throughout the country. There’s the BQ, table set, turkey, christmas pudding, TV, maybe lawn cricket, overeating and usually the blend of heat and cicadas.

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Home in the suburbs of Bathurst with the sound of lawnmowers, followed by silence, distant traffic and a suspended lassitude.

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The home setting

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Road trip, country NSW

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On a road trip visiting family in country NSW for Christmas

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Had a quick detour to look at the historic town, Hartley on the way to Bathurst. Hartley village is situated at the bottom of Victoria Pass, on the great western highway in the valley between Mount Victoria and Lithgow. 

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Ivy Cottage, St Bernard’s Catholic Church, and Court House.

http://www.hartley-nsw.com

“Hartley was formerly a judicial and administrative centre that had a busy courthouse. The courthouse was built in 1837 and was designed by prominent New South Wales Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis. The courthouse, which operated for over fifty years, dealt with a constant stream of robbers, thieves and convicts. Although Hartley fell into disuse, it survived as a perfectly preserved village that is a superb example of 19th century architecture. Because of its heritage value, it is now preserved as a historic site, administered by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales.”

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Bathurst, the oldest inland settlement in Australia, it was the site of the first gold discovery and where the first gold rush occurred in Australia. Bathurst has a historic city centre with many buildings remaining from the gold rush period of the mid to late 1800s.

We visited the central town’s Machattie Park to cool off in the morning heat. I visit this garden each time I go to Bathurst as I love the historical and nostalgic atmosphere, its a great example of a late 19th century Victorian country town park. Opened in 1890, it has a Rotunda, the Bandstand, the Caretakers Cottage, Crago Fountain, a Fernery, and Drinking Fountains.

the park has a valuable collection of mature and majestic trees that are used either informally or formally as avenue plantings. Most of these trees are not natives of Australia. Particularly important are the avenues of Huntington Elms bordering the park as well as a unique layered elm hedge. Some of the fine specimens of exotic trees include, Bunya Pine, Atlas Cedar, Deodar Cedar, Red Beech, English Oak, Pin Oak, Wellingtonia, Chinese Elm and Silver Elm.” 

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Bathurst, Orange, then the journey home passing through Millthorpe, another historical town, established in the pioneering era, with heritage architecture and a streetscape that has remained largely unchanged since the early 1900’s. The entire village is classified by the National Trust and the village centre has cobbled, bluestone bordered streets.

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One of the grand old corner pubs, and pressed tin panels to an entrance of an old bank, and now function space.

http://www.millthorpevillage.com.au

Streets with flowering borders reminiscent of an English village.

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A bandstand at Millthorpe, and minimal and functional BBQ hut

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Plenty of antique stores, with the classic  hydrangeas flowers in the shade

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