Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quack Quack

Quacking is big in our house right now. There's a whole lot of quacking going on. So I made these little fellas... to help me get in touch with my inner duck. 

Guess I better get started on the cows. 

Friday, December 5, 2008

Making the cut

I haven't been spending a whole lot of time making in the studio over the last few months, but I have been working on a few things using the waterjet cutting process I used for the work in my last show. It's been an interesting experience for me, handing over a large part of my process to someone else. I'm used to being very hands on with my work, and really enjoy the making process and the problem solving and experimentation that goes with it. But i've also really enjoyed the process of working with industry- as frustrating and nerve-wracking as it has been at times, it's been a great learning curve and the process has opened up a whole new world of ideas and possibilities. 

It's been a rocky road between me and the cutters, but after a lot of trial and error I am so grateful for their perseverance and commitment to what were very small but very complicated jobs for them, and after muddling our way through a few failures and misunderstandings it's reassuring to know that they are still up for the challenge and willing to work with me on whatever takes my fancy. Bless em!! 

They have now perfected the very tricky art of cutting tiny pigeon feet from my little nana plates. There's a few legless pigeons hobbling around my studio, but mostly they're all now in good working order. All the ones above are roosting in the newly refurbished Rialto Hotel in Sydney, and the little fellas below have just been acquired by the Redland Art Gallery

And here's a close-up...a lovely bit o crazing don't you think? 

New works still in progress. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Salon 08

My gallery here in Brisvegas are holding what promises to be a really beautiful christmas show of small works by some of their artists including Joachim Froese, Carl Warner, Kim DeMuth, Juan Ford, Judith Wright, Samuel Tupou, Daniel Mafe, Tony Albert, Jennie Jackson, Janet Laurence, Jonathan Kimberley, Stephen Hart and moi.  A pretty sweet line up. It opens Saturday December 13th. And you can check out all these artists work here. Go on! 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On the move

Image Left: Pru Morrison, Rodney, slipcast porcelain, Image Right: Immbolised, slipcast porcelain

If you're in the area don't miss Pru Morrison's exhibition at Marks and Gardner gallery up on Mt Tambourine opening this weekend. Guaranteed to be a corker of a show. Opening event is this Saturday November 29th from 3pm, and the show runs until December 31st.  

The sound of one plate smashing

The other night I was jolted awake at about 3 o'clock in the morning by an almighty crashing and smashing from under my studio. My heart sank as my head filled with visions of collapsed kiln shelves and months of work smashed to pieces. I'd only just packed the kiln the day before, ready for a long-awaited firing. After a fitful sleep full of dreams of broken pots and tiles I finally dragged myself out of bed and down to the studio to check out the carnage.  Oh the joy as I walked in and saw that a cute little second hand plate I'd hurriedly hung on the wall a few days before had slipped off its moorings and smashed to the floor! It must have been the quiet of 3am that made it sound more like twenty plates smashing! I checked the kiln just in case, and was still a little jumpy all day until the firing had finished! It all went swimmingly in the end. Here's a few pieces from it. A few new ranges of wall tiles (below) and some variations on an old range (above). Love a bird I do. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Studio Visit

Yesterday Kenji, Li'l chubba and I paid a visit to Pru Morrison   and Virginia Jones' new studio. They've set up house at the (relatively) new Metro Arts studio, which is housed in a great old renovated substation. I love visiting people in their studios.  There is always so much to look at and so many intriguing objects lying around. The studio was piled high with half unpacked boxes of materials and tools and pots and paraphernalia and works in progress. And despite the fact that they'd scoffed most of the lamingtons by the time we got there (we were very late after getting stuck in a traffic jam) it was all forgiven when we got a sneak peak at Pru's new work for her upcoming show at Marks and Gardner. Pretty spiffy stuff. Way better than a lamington. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Colonisers

Well if two major ceramics exhibitions aren't enough for those of you in Brisbane, then get thee back to Artisan to check out the latest Ivory Street Window exhibition, a collaborative work called The Colonisers by Lismore diva's Liz Stops and Laura McEwan.  Laura and Liz are both interested in aspects of the colonisation of Australia by Europeans and its impact on both the land and the people.  

Stops' work Fenceline, Defining a (white) Landscape is an undulating series of vessels that have been cast from old fence posts and represent the horizon line viewed from the windows of her house. It refers to the way "the landscape has been carved up and compartmentalised with little regard for sustainability or prior habitation".  McEwan's work is made up of stylised porcelain flowers cast from a decorative iron cornice found in the 120 year old house in which she lives.  The works are set on a backdrop of a hand drawn "wallpaper" pattern derived from an insidious creeper called mile-a-minute which McEwan says "is an apt metaphor for colonisation in its prolific growth and tendency to smother everything in its path". Thought provoking AND beautiful. Definitely worth a look. It's up until December 1st (and I'll post more pics shortly).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Blue n White

Gerry Wedd and I will be having a chat about our work and all things blue and white this Thursday night at Artisan from 5:30pm - 7pm. So if you find yourself sitting around twiddling your thumbs, come and have a chat and a drink with us! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm still here....!!

Well my word its a been a while between posts! I've been a little blogged out and a little pre-occupied of late!! But i find myself sitting here with a rare few spare hours, and instead of flying down to the studio and madly trying to get some work done, I am going to put my feet up, drink a cup of tea and tell you about a few upcoming ceramicky things. 

Firstly, the ceramic world is all a-buzz here in Brisvegas right now.  It's been a while in the coming, and a lot of dedicated people have worked many long hours over many long years to make this happen.  The long-awaited shiny new Fusions gallery is finally opening this Friday night. Fusions (formerly known as the QLD Potters Association) has been advocating for ceramic artists in QLD, and now nationally, for over 40 years and the opening exhibition, SALUTE, is a celebration of that milestone and the launch of the new facility.  Curated by  Janet Mansfield (doyenne of the international ceramics world and founder and editor of the journal Ceramics Art and Perception) it showcases work by 100 Australian ceramic artists (including yours truly) it should provide an amazingly comprehensive cross-section of ceramics in this country (just don't make any sudden moves while you're in there)!! The opening event is this Friday night (corner of Brunswick and Malt St, Fortitude Valley) from 6-9pm and the exhibition runs until November 22nd. Should be a good shindig and a good opportunity to check out the redevelopment. 

And just to top off those heady ceramic vibes, "A Secret History of Blue and White" has just opened at Artisan.  I have been anticipating the arrival of this show for months and am chomping at the bit to get in there and see it! The show has been curated by Stephen Bowers and includes works by Stephen Benwell, Robin Best, Bronwyn Kemp, Vipoo Srivilasa and Gerry Wedd. Bound to be a goody! Exhibition runs until November 8th. 

And in case you were wondering why I haven't been regaling you with pictures and details of my trip to has unfortunately been postponed. So instead of swanning about eating goulash I have been playing in my garden (I have lettuce coming out of my ears right now!), pottering about in the studio and catching up on some much needed sleep! Which isn't such a bad alternative! 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bird Watching

There's flocks of pigeons flying in and out of my studio at the moment. One little flock is heading off to this show at Redlands Art Gallery. Curated by Emma Bain it is a selection of works by QLD artists who find inspiration in the bird motif. I had a sneak peak at the show today and it is looking pretty spectacular- paintings, prints, jewellery, paper cutting, sculpture, ceramics...some very beautiful work by the other exhibiting artists including Nick Ashby, Madeleine Brown, Meryn Jones, Tiffany Shafran, Glen Skien and Pamela Mei-Leng See. The show opens this Sunday 21st September at 11:30am and runs until October 26th. 

Friday, September 12, 2008

Virginia Jones (was) at Metro Arts

I've been trying to get to this post for the last week but alas time eluded me and the show finishes today! So instead of urging you to go and check out the work of Virginia Jones at Metro Arts, I'm just going to show you the photos and tell you how great it was!! The show is a part of Ginny's PhD research into art and nature and was made up of various installations as well as photographs and other documentation of some of her ephemeral works. The gallery itself is one of my favourites, a huge space full of character smack bang in the middle of the city.  It was all a bit impressive really!

You can read a little more about Ginny and her work here

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Yoshihiro Suda

I was taking a stroll along the river the other day and stopped to have a drink from a bubbler. As I leaned over to drink I saw these little fellas (above) creeping up through the cracks in the boardwalk. I was instantly reminded of the work of Yoshihiro Suda (below) who I recently came across in a publication called Spectacular Craft. This guy has some serious patience! Each tiny piece is carved by hand from magnolia wood and they are so incredibly executed that it's almost impossible to distinguish them from the real thing. Craftsmanship like this just leaves me speechless. You can find out more about him and the exhibition Spectacular Craft here.

And speaking of fine craftsmanship...don't miss this one. Kirsten Coelho (image below) at Helen Stephens Gallery. September 17th -October 12th. (Where IS that damn tardis!!!!)

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I mentioned a little while back that Andrea Higgins and I were working on some collaborative pieces with my cut glass guns and her photogram process. Well here's the first prints. The three guns were cut from glass platters (using my new favourite water jet process) and then placed on to photosensitive paper and exposed.  I love the way the process highlights the variations and faults and bubbles and scratches in the glass. A bit like an x-ray.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Gore in the garden

I spent the morning in my sunny back garden sitting under the poinciana tree with bumcrane and Li'l chubba. As we drank tea and scoffed Shingle Inn cupcakes (mmmm) bumcrane regaled us with gory stories of Brisbane's early history that she had recently unearthed - gold diggers chopped to bits, murderous butchers, wrongly hanged cooks and dark family secrets of the well-to-do! Lovely!!

six hundred degrees

Another blogger on the block! Sophie Milne is a Melbourne-based ceramicist based at the Northcote Pottery studios in Melbourne. She makes lovely functional and decorative vessels that you can now read more about at her new blog six hundred degrees. Sophie has also taken on the challenge of developing and managing the sparkly new Pan ceramics gallery housed in the pottery complex that opened with what sounds like a fine shindig the other night. Check out her blog and her website, and if you're in Melbourne check out the gallery!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wedd at Waverley

Sometimes I wish I had a little blue telephone box like Doctor Who so that I could just nip down to see all these shows in Sydney, Melbourne and beyond. The next one I’m going to miss out on is Gerry Wedd’s show at Helen Stephens new gallery this month. Gerry has just posted some interesting background info on his work on his blog which you can check out here. Another ripper I reckon. Opening night Wednesday 13th August and the show runs till September 7th . Catch it if you can.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

At journeys end

This work was the title piece for my show - Keep Calm and Carry On, a slogan from a British World War II poster. It was inspired by the stories of some of the women in my family and their experiences of war time (mostly the Second World War). One aspect of the stories that really interested me was what it was like for the women who stayed home, the women who had to carry on their daily lives while their husbands and sons and fathers and brothers were fighting. I was drawn into this subject by a show I was involved in a couple of years ago and despite my best efforts was not able to let it lie. It just kept coming back to me. I could never attempt to take on this subject in any universal sense, but found myself drawn into it in the context of my own family story. One way I explored this was by taking objects and symbols related to these stories about the war and recasting them in (or having them cut from) old, and sometimes iconic, domestic objects, some of which belonged to members of my family. It was a fascinating and confronting and puzzling and often unresolvable process that had some unexpected resonances and conflicts for me in the context of todays political climate.

I always get really nervous before an exhibition when people want to know what my work is about, or you're asked to write an artist statement or press release. I usually don't know what to say and get myself all tongue tied and ramble on a bit incoherently! Its not until its up and I've had some time to reflect on it and get a bit of distance from it that I start to work out where I'm coming from. So i'm still pondering and digesting all of this. Now that I'm feeling remotely human again. Geez, its been a big 4 months!! Oh to sleeeeeeeeep! For more than 5 hours at a stretch!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Narratives at Sabbia

Now here's a show not to be missed. A sweeeeeeeeet line up of some of Australia's best (and some of my favourite) ceramic artists - Julie Bartholomew, Janet DeBoos, Honor Freeman, Patsy Hely, Ruth McMillan and Angela Valmanesh. The show Narratives runs from August 7th - September 6th at Sabbia Gallery, and there's an opening event and floor talk by some of the artists on August the 8th. More info here. Should be a ripper!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gun Love 2

A few more images of the work in my show. This piece above almost didn't make it in. Something about it just wasn't sitting right with me and I umm'd and ah'd for weeks about whether to include it. I set it up in my lounge room and walked past it every day, and every time I walked past it I changed my mind about it! But after some convincing from the gallery and a few other folks, in it went. And it went down a treat! A big thank you to bum crane for her help and patience in setting this work up. She can roll a mean ball of museum wax i tell ya!

The guns above have been cut from old plates using a water jet process. I'm a tad enamoured by this technique at the moment and have spent the last six months op-shopping like a mad woman and have accrued quite the collection of plates and saucers just awaiting the chop!