My ceramics in the exhibition, ‘The Course of Objects’ at the Manly Art Gallery


At the Manly Art Gallery & Museum, West Esplanade Reserve, Manly, 2 May – 8 June 2014

The Course of Objects: the fine lines of inquiry’ is an exhibition without a specific theme, Rather, the intention is to provide a way to map, gather, assemble and reflect on current ceramic practices. It is intended too, to take the pulse on what is being made now, and to ask about current ideas or issues of influence. Importantly, its intention is to try to unravel the triggers that inspire practice, and lead to focused and rigorous lines of inquiry”


My quote, “My fine line of inquiry is the interplay and tension between the gestural mark and the hand built three-dimensional form, a conversation between paint and clay.”

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Several views of my six ceramic vessels


The opening night


Artist talk on 4th April, Toni Warburton talking about her work, “Shells stained black by mangrove mud, white light grey day bay waters. Graphite gleams on paper, mists, clouds, pond rain, sombre moods, quietude. Old gardens, arbours, safe harbours appear in silver gelatin prints. Round walls hold borrowed views. White lines of molten feldspar track through iron grey surfaces. Dragged and dug from drawing, walking, seeing and talking.”


Kylie Rose McClean talking about her work, “I’m on a journey connecting my past and current experiences with my ideas and dreams. In these works Japanese quilt block patterns formed the basis for paper-resist designs using slips, with the addition of tissue transfers, iron pigment was and sprayed dry glaze. I see these forms anew on each viewing they draw me in; they make me feel calm and embraced”


Sarah Ormonde, “Finding a true and sensitive understanding of materials is central to my practice, so that my form and surface can deliberately express an idea. The landscape in which I live is an ever present and pervasive aspect of my work, and as such informs all my inquiry.”


To the left, Neville French. “In my work, glaze and form are used to stimulate the imagination and evoke associations with the natural environment, and as well, to express a deeply internalised and ethereal sense of place”. To the right, sharing the table, Vicki Passlow, “My work is an exploration of the sinuous line. I work in porcelain for its ability to create soft organic shapes and for its colour response.”


Steve Harrison, “I have always had an interest in the natural world, particularly in growing plants, as well as attempting to live a gentle, creative life with a small, light footprint. My research into and use of local materials has been the central mandala in my ceramics. My recent work has involved growing some of my glaze ingredients, which I use in the form of ash glaze.”


To the left, Simone Fraser, “My inquiry involves looking from the macro of the landscape to the minutiae of surface. Exploring creativity in process, I see my work as a series of communications about the senses, texture and beauty.” , and sharing the table to the right, Fiona Fell, “I attempt to dissolve the tough skin of three-dimensoonal work, and blur the hard and fast distinction between artwork and artist, interior and exterior, animate and inanimate, fact and fiction, body as art and corpus of art. It is an investigation of a zone where clay no longer solidifies into common, everyday reality but spins a metaphor for vaster, more fluid fabric of experience.”


Kirsten Coelho, “Utilising domestic forms and social history as a vehicle- I am always attempting to investigate the points of convergence between materiality and abstraction.”


Prue  Venables (sharing at table with Toni Warburton), “My experiments have led to new lines of inquiry in my work – the exploration of new materials, new techniques, and radical adventures into a range of unusual and experimental objects. I continue to extend this practice to incorporate the use of materials other than clay, and making separate components to be joined after firing.”


Left, Dianne Peach and Tania Rolland in the foreground. Right, Kathy Franzi


Left, Robyn Phelan, Right, Fiona Hiscock and Janetta Kerr-Grant


Lynda Draper in the foreground, and Juile Pennington


Left, John Dermer in the foreground, Right, Merran Esson in the foreground.


Vicki Passlow and Neville French in the foreground, and my work behind.




‘Strange Pockets’, ceramic sculptures by Bev Hogg

A really interesting recent exhibition was by the wonderful Canberra based artist, Bev Hogg. The show titled ‘Strange Pockets, turf wars: wild life at the urban fringe’ was exhibited at Kerrie Lowe Gallery, Newtown, Sydney.


“Over the past twenty years Bev Hogg’s figurative sculptures have developed as a social commentary bringing together cultural, political and environmental issues that we face today, on a local and global level. They examine the intricate relationships and interconnection between people, animals and their environment – whether natural or built. Operating in the space between understanding and imagining, these narratives encapsulate the emotional and psychological attachment to place.” (Quote from Craft ACT web site)

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This exhibition explores the urban edges. Edges which expand into the bushland which surrounds Canberra, the bush capital of Australia. A shared landscape of shared borders, between wildlife and the suburbs. This is a space that is not fixed but an inter exchange between humans and species, featuring the kangaroo and native and introduced birdlife. Bev is interested how we can live in partnership with flora and fauna, not as a dominate force, but how to bring compassion and practical applications to environmental issues affecting all native animals slowly loosing their native habitat. Each animal or bird is treated as an individual. For this exhibition Bev has looked at eighteenth century naturalistic interpretations of a strange new land, where for example a kangaroo was a totally new species, and acknowledging that now some of these species have now been lost.

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Circular disks diplay birdlife that can live alongside humans, (on the left) ‘Adaptables’, the Thornbill, Currawong, Kookaburras, Wattle birds, Noisy Miners, Budgerigars, Blue Wrens etc, and on the right, vulnerable species in danger of extinction, the ‘Vunerables’  the small finches and larger birds.


Bev gave a great talk, and looked as striking as her art work!

The Democracy of Drawing, AirSpace Projects

I went to the opening of ‘The Democracy of Drawing’, AirSpace Projects, a new gallery space in Marrickville. A large and varied range of artists works exploring the concept of drawing were on display, ranging from Peter Sharp courtesy of Liverpool Street Gallery to Judy Watson, Milani Gallery, and Floria Tosca, Flinders Street Gallery. A gallery space worth checking out for interesting and innovative exhibitions.

“AirSpace Projects is dedicated to exhibition and curatorial ideas from both emerging and established local, national and international practitioners who make ambitious, inspiring and inventive contributions to art processes and discourses. We aim to pursue both solo and thematically curated exhibitions to extend and deepen an understanding of artistic practice while facilitating an exploration of art and its relationship to the world.”

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