In my studio, new work in progress

I am currently working on a series of ceramics for a group exhibition I am in next May ( 2 May – 8 th June 2014) at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum, selected for the Australian Ceramic  Association’s Biennial Exhibition, ‘The course of objects; the fine lines of inquiry’, curated by Susan Ostling. “the environment and nature as a source for ideas; the aesthetics of still life; rigorous material investigation; the figure as a source of delight and wonder; and aspects of function.”

The ceramics are hand built stoneware vessels which I have often re-fired several times to build up layers of glaze and underglaze paints. Paintings in the background are works in progress for my next solo exhibition at Art House Gallery, Sydney.

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Entrance to my studio

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Works in progress

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Experiments using oxides on white slip on hand built stoneware forms, before firing.

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Experiments using oxides on white slip on hand built stoneware forms, after the first bisque firing, still cone 10 Stoneware firing to go.

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Works after final stoneware firing, with the iron of the clay now emerging through the slip.

Ken Mihara and Kevin Lincoln at Liverpool Street Gallery

A great show which unfortunately is now finished at Liverpool Street Gallery, 243a Liverpool Street, East Sydney, 16 November – 21st November, 2013. Really beautiful and sophisticated ceramics by Japanese ceramic artist, Ken Mihara, complimented by reductive emblematic still life and seascape paintings, by Kevin Lincoln. Both body of works interplay and mirror one another with a reductive poetic and subtle palette.

Ken Mihara, ‘Serenity in Clay’

http://www.liverpoolstgallery.com.au/public_panel/exhibition.php?id_EXH=142

“The aesthetic qualities of serenity and the sublime coalesce within Mihara’s work. In essence, these qualities are the scents of Japan, a culture which has traditionally searched for beauty within wabi-sabi austerity, spiritual simplicity, and the cherishing of patina. The natural landscapes of his high-fired stoneware facades were borne through multiple and extremely difficult kiln-firings, with each firing revealing a new element to a work’s clay flavour. His new forms exhibit a stark, bulb-esque minimalism. Mihara’s new works pulsate with a relaxed and assured confidence in his own. Furthermore, the new work also exhibits a far greater range of tones, from the poetically austere to vivid oranges and blues, which are a result of a revamped firing technique that he has further tweaked from the experiments of his past Kigen (Genesis) series. His deeply spiritual works poignantly strike at the heart, and his new works exhibit the artist leaning further towards minimalistic simplicity.” Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo

All multi-fired stoneware, ‘Kigen (Genesis)#3’, 23 x 14.5 x 39.5 cm, ‘Kigen (Genesis)#4’, 42 x 23.5 x 26.5 cm, ‘Kodak (pulse)#4’, 41 x 19.5 x 30.5 cm, ‘Kigen (genesis)#1’, 74.5 x 20.5 x 44 cm, ‘Kei (Mindscape)#2’, 43 x 31.5 x 41 cm, ‘Kodah (Pulse)#5’, 25 x 19.5 x 24 cm

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Kevin Lincoln, ‘Still Life and Landscapes’

http://www.liverpoolstgallery.com.au/public_panel/exhibition.php?id_EXH=143

Ghosts of still-life are held within the minimal abstracts. The sensuous curve is perhaps a detail of the edge of a bowl against a vase, or the strong horizontal line where a bottle sits on a table. But they need not be read as such, the artist instead demands that we allow the weight within each work to take hold, feel the density of each colour, each form and take the time to allow a response to develop within us. Lincoln’s paintings are not a quick fix — they are breathtakingly obtuse. Generally more textured than the meticulous surfaces of the abstract paintings, the elements in the still-life paintings have a disconcerting solidity against the indistinct glowing backgrounds on which they sit. Like a miracle, wine and fishes hover in an apparition on the canvas. The intimacy engendered, even in the most expansive of the still-life paintings, is borne from the personal references the artist places within each work. An invitation to the exhibition of an admired artist, a familiar pot from the artist’s collection, a bowl of figs or a shiny aubergine bought for lunch, these items are as much a glimpse into the artist’s life as the shadowy self-portrait reflected in a mirror.” Styles and forms – Contemporary Australian Painting, Shandong Publishing Press, China, 2004.

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‘Two Sake Bottles’, 40 x 46 cm, ‘Freycinet Peninsula’, 76.5 x 92 cm, ‘Recherche Bay Tasmania’, 86.5 x 112 cm

COFA Annual Exhibition 2013

I went to COFA Annual Exhibition 2013, Honours: Art & Media / Final Year: Design at the very nice and new gallery space, Galleries UNSW, Cnr Oxford Street and Greens Rd, Paddington.

It is always interesting to see new experimental work, what is new and happening. The use of new and incongruous materials and work that is outside the commercial gallery context. I especially enjoyed the final year design work, looking at different practices and approaches to the design industry.

http://www.cofa.unsw.edu.au

Honours Art & Media

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Louise Zhang, ‘Seductive Monsters: (De)forming The Blob’, 2103, birch wood, oil paint, enamel paint, resin, expanding foam, plaster, plastic, gap filler, silicone

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Mia Middleton, ‘Homecoming’, 2013, looped video projection, ‘Someplace’, 2013, series of inkjet prints on Ilford Rice paper, ‘At Sea’ 2013, video

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Julie Brockbank, ‘Fold’, 2013, parchment paper and artificial light, ‘Hush’, 2013, aerated concrete, artificial light

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Tamara Muzikants, ‘Twirly Tales’, 2013, synthetic fur, vintage fur, perspex, concrete, thread, wood, resin, bricks, metal. crystal, glass, rocks

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Alice Couttoupes, ‘Eponymic Emperialisms, photos, ink on velin cotton rag, and ceramics, ‘Coastal banksia’, 2013, porcelain

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View of room with several Installations

Final Year: Design

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Emily Yeung, ‘8 Storeys’. Fashion work and video dealing with the supply and demand pressures of the fashion industry. The work has been directly informed by the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh.

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Louise Knyvett, ‘Blanchard Re-appropriated’. The work deals with the shift in the consumer market from excessive mass production to environmental awareness and responsibility. The concept of ‘up-cycling’, an analysis of the private practice of the London furniture designer Robert Blanchard.  Applying a life cycle assessment by measuring the environmental, economic and social value of his process.

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Samuel Kirby, ‘Red still life set’, ‘Pink flat and curve’ and ‘Green cube set’, acrylic on wood

Final Year, Bachelor Visual Arts, F Block

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Installations

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Bernadette Comenzuli,  ‘Trapped’, mixed media, ‘No man is an island’, bronze, ‘After the trees’, acrylic on perspex

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Jason Farrow, sandstone sculpture

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Jennifer Holman, ‘Stones’, digital print on silk

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Groovy plant holders at the campus quadrangle

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Installation in the quadrangle, with a good bit of student politics

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And a further bit of politics on the inside of the lift doors, F Block, COFA

Self Life, Delmar Gallery

The annual exhibition, ‘Shelf Life’, at Delmar Galley, Trinity Grammar School, 144 Victoria Street, Ashfield, Sydney, 20th November to 8th December, 2013, covers a range of small scale works, that can easily be placed on a shelf, hence ‘Shelf Life’. The show has been really nicely curated and installed by Catherine Benz, the exhibition curator and gallery director of Delmar Gallery.

http://www.trinity.nsw.edu.au/4_community/socArts.htm

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The Hermannsburg Potters, Peter Pinson Gallery

A great exhibition of the ceramic works by the Hermannsburg Potters at Peter Pinson Gallery at Syndicate, Danks Street Galleries, 2 Danks Street, waterloo, Sydney. 12 November to 30th November 2013.

Peter Pinson represents the Hermannsburg Potters in Sydney. The Hermannsburg Potters are from the Western Arrernte community, 130 kilometers west of Alice Springs, Northern Territory.

http://www.peterpinsongallery.com

“Pottery was first introduced to the Aboriginal artists of Hermannsburg in the 1960s by missionaries working with men from the community. These men, and subsequently both men and women artists, built on the tradition of Aranda (also called Arrernte) art that can be traced back to Albert Namatjira. Today, with continued help from their pottery trainer (a practising ceramicist and teacher) and the traditional owners of the region, a small group of mostly women produces unique and highly saleable works of ceramic art.These women (and the newer artists that have followed) use the introduced medium of clay to translate their cultural and artistic heritage. In a small pottery studio in the centre of the community the Hermannsburg Potters have forged their own unique type of ceramics.”

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Judith Inkamala, ‘Albert (Namatjira), Rex (Battarbee) & Family. Painting Country’, 56 x 37 cm, 2011 (including detail)

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Painting by Arthur Murch, ‘Hermannsburg Potter Judith Inkamala, nee Tebora’, 1964, oil on board, 60.5 x 60.5 cm

Arthur Murch vistited Hermannsburg in 1933 and again in 1964. On his 1933 visit he painted Veronica Tebora, on his return visit thirty-one years leter, he painted Veronica’s fifteen year old daughter Judith (above), five decades later, the young daughter Judith, enjoyed a national reputation as Hermannsburg potter Judith Inkamala. One her ceramics features bellow her portrait.

Current exhibitions at the Hughes Gallery

Three great shows at The Hughes Gallery, 270 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, Sydney.   2nd November – 30th November 2013

http://www.rayhughesgallery.com

Tim Kyle, ‘Brothers in Arms’, all figurative sculptures using epoxy resin and mixed media

Tim Kyle’s boisterous figurative sculptures are well known and received. He won the 2003 Wynne Prize and his larger than life seated and standing men are recognisable from their outings at Sculpture by the Sea. Kyle is a keen observer of human behaviour. He has endowed his figures with unique expressions that create a real sense of character and personality. As the artist states, “I learnt of the Flaneur in art history and I suppose that’s what these pieces are the product of – observations and evaluations of human behaviour…The subject remains the same, forlorn introspection dosed with a wanton need for clarity from perplexity.”Kyle’s works are all very tactile, you can trace the hand of the artist through the forms created by his fingers in the clay, which is then cast in epoxy resin, forming the “rugged and unapologetic” pieces for which he is known. Drawing is also important to Kyle, who sketches his compositions before sculpting them. The works in ‘Brothers in Arms’ are “new essays on figuration that are directions once held in sketchbooks but never before realised in form.” Other works in this show are crafted out of acid free paper pulp, which the artist enjoys for its “expressive nobility and physical strength,” characteristics that can also be used to describe his body of work in general.

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‘Gumption’, mixed media, 57 x 40 x 25 cm

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“Nigel’, mixed media, 69 x 30 x 17 cm

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‘Damo’, epoxy resin, 75 x 29 x 22 cm, and ‘Poirot’, mixed media, 45 x 24 x 14 cm

At the same time, Pru Morrison, ‘A nod is as good as a wink’, all ceramics, porcelain, terrasigillata, underglaze pencil and glaze

Brisbane based ceramisist Pru Morrison uses her finely crafted porcelain pieces to comment on everyday life in Australia. Drawing from a variety of sources, from politics to art history, the works are as topical as they are beautiful. For Morrison, “The most enjoyable part of my arts practice is creating an open story. I spend a lot of time in parks and on street benches watching and noting small mannerisms and everyday colloquialisms of people as they pass by. I record these sketches in a small notebook to use as a starting point when I return to the studio. Ideas often overlap with observations on current affairs, the arts and the poetry of politics…as I see it.” These drawings form only one part of Morrison’s practice, as they are scratched onto vessels which Morrison constructs using a variety of molds and hand building techniques. Once assembled, these forms resemble utilitarian objects like teapots or vases, but with a twist. The handle of the pot may be in the shape of a horse’s head or the vase resting on four sets legs, for example. To get their unique, finely coloured and textured effect, the surface is then layered with a fine slip called terrasigillata that is mixed with body stains to produce the colours. After this Morrison scratches through the different layers of colour to build the drawing, and adds black underglaze pencil that is fired onto the porcelain surface.

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‘The Song of Waste’, 21 x 20 x 6 cm, and ‘Hose for hire’, 15 x 19 x 5 cm

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‘Bowls, Porcelain’, 18 x 12 x 7 cm, and ‘Sheesh’, 21 x 11 x 8 cm

Also a mixed show, ‘Life’s a beach‘ in the main gallery. Works included Jason Phu, Nick Collerson, Michael Bell, Peter Powditch, Lucy Culliton, and Cameron Haas to name a few. As well as Joe Furlonger, whose work I have admired in the gallery for a long time. Bellow are details from one of his earlier Circus series paintings, which is in the entrance foyer.

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National Art School, Postgraduate Exhibition, 2013

I went and had a look at the National Art School, Postgraduate exhibition, Sydney, for 2013, held at the National Art School Gallery.

Some interesting work.

http://www.nas.edu.au/NASGallery

Emporio Armani National Art School Postgraduate Exhibition 2013 

Exhibition: 1- 9 November 2013, Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm  The National Art School Postgraduate Exhibition showcases the best emerging talent from students graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) and Master of Fine Art.

http://www.nas.edu.au

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Rachael McCallum, ‘Bananas’, earthenware ceramics

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Rachael Mc Callum’s work in the ceramic display case, C Block

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Joanne Makas, ‘Yellow streak’, installation

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Ann-Mare Jackson, ‘Boxed 1’, ceramic and plywood

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Kirsten Drewes, ‘Terminus- part 3 + conversation’, paper-mache, acrylic paint, fur, string