Gail Nichols: Atmosphere / Narek Galleries, Tanja, Australia

Gail Nichols: Atmosphere exhibition Nerek Galleries Tanja

Gail Nichols: Atmosphere / Narek Galleries, Tanja, NSW, Australia
January 10 - February 24, 2014

Opening reception: Saturday, January 11, 6 pm.

Earth, air, fire and water are the essential elements in Gail Nichols’ vessels, both figuratively and metaphorically. The infinite landscape surrounding her home and studio at the base of Mt. Budawang near Braidwood not only inspires her strong, wheel thrown forms, it also provides the atmosphere that affects the soda vapour glaze firings. Moist air and damp earth will create a different firing result to days of low humidity.

A bowl filled with air and light and described by its own materiality, may have an irregular rim reflecting the undulating horizon and a luscious glaze of glassy celadon or shadowy grey mauve or rich, thick cream and molten soft browns tinged with fiery orange clay at the base. These glazes are created by swirling soda vapours in the firing process reacting with elements deep within the clay and each pot is placed in the kiln so that intended surfaces will occur.

Nichols’ control of kiln atmosphere has been gained over years of extensive research, leading to a PhD at Monash University in 2002. Her book, Soda Clay and Fire, published by the American Ceramic Society, is a leading text in the field. Her work is represented in Australian and international collections including the National Gallery of Australia.

Gallery hours: Friday to Monday, 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM, and by appointment.

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HYPERCLAY: Contemporary Ceramics / Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum, Gladstone, Australia

Roderick Bamford at HYPERCLAY: Contemporary Ceramics exhibition, Gladstone Regional Art Gallery Museum

HYPERCLAY: Contemporary Ceramics / Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum, Gladstone, Australia
December 13, 2013 - March 2014, 2014

RoHYPERCLAY: Contemporary Ceramics investigates the field of ceramics, focusing on new attitudes, techniques and technologies that are being embraced by artists in the 21st century. Walter Auer, Roderick Bamford, Stephen Bird, Jacqueline Clayton, Andrea Hylands, Addison Marshall, Pip McManus and Paul Wood all ignite the imagination with the potential of clay through their work. As the prefix ‘hyper’ suggests, HYPERCLAY presents clay-based work where the medium has been amplified, extended and intensified to produce work that will delight, provoke and surprise. New technologies, the process of making, and the re-purposing of materials to create new forms are the delicate threads that bind the works in HYPERCLAY together.

A collection of 35 short videos have been produced to accompany the work in HYPERCLAY. These include interviews with the artists, curators, academics, collectors, gallerists and students. All videos are available to view through iPads in the exhibition space, offering the viewer different perspectives on the works as well as deeper, richer connections to the artists.

Roderick Bamford explores the process of additive fabrication, creating a series of ceramic sculptures using a modified rapid prototyping printer. Bamford sourced the parts for his 3D printer online, gradually building a machine that could print with clay. The result is a device that affords Bamford an expanded making process that incorporates both analogue and digital techniques.

Stephen Bird, better known for his satirical figurative ceramics, presents two works that also play at the intersection of the digital and the handmade. Wanting to reveal the sequence of events that takes place when transforming raw clay into a finished sculpture, Bird spent several intensive weeks in his studio creating the stop-frame clay animation What are you laughing at?. The work is a re-telling of the Creation Story through the lens of the post-industrial world. It also documents Bird’s making process, capturing it as performance. Similarly, I Just Don’t Believe in Ceramics elevates ceramic surface decoration from static and permanent to evolving virtual design.

New Warriors by Andrea Hylands captures the performance of material itself. Her fragile forms are the product of bone china slip poured into a mould and then removed at varying durations. This process is a balance between the spontaneity of movement and material, and the precision of the artists’ hand.

Ceramicist Walter Auer is interested in the transformation and preservation of objects through a petrifaction process that he has been experimenting with for nearly 10 years. Auer soaks discarded soft toys in watered-down clay (terra sigillata) for weeks – even months - before submitting them to a grueling firing process.

Similarly, Pip McManus is interested in transformation. Combining clay, video, sand and water, McManus has created a video work entitled Watershed 2 that engages with ideas of permanence and organic forms. In Watershed, the ancient medium of clay is effortlessly in conversation with the contemporary medium of video.

Paul Wood scours op shops, thrift stores and neighbourhood gardening centres for pre-loved ceramic objects that he then re-fires, melts and slumps to create dramatic new sculptures. For Guardians of a Goddess Wood has crafted an ode to the ornamental water features that proudly sat in the neighborhood gardens of his childhood.

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Containment: 2012 Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award / The Ian Potter Centre: NGV, Melbourne, Australia

Containment: 2012 Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award / The Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

Containment: 2012 Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award / The Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
November 23, 2012 - July 21, 2013

The theme of ‘containment’ will be explored by fourteen Victorian artists for the 2012 Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award.

The Award focuses on contemporary design practice in Victoria and is arguably the most prestigious offered to a contemporary practitioner in Australia with a prize of $30,000 provided through the Cicely & Colin Rigg Bequest, managed by ANZ Trustees.

Tony Ellwood, NGV Director, said, “This year’s Award presents an exciting mix of Victorian artists and reflects the NGV’s ongoing commitment to contemporary design. The NGV is only able to stage this important event thanks to the vision of the Trustees of the Rigg Bequest and the foresight of the generous benefactors, Cicely and Colin Rigg.”

Teresa Zolnierkiewicz, Head of Philanthropy, ANZ Trustees, said, “The Rigg Bequest is a generous legacy of the late Colin Rigg (1895-1982). He was inspired by the Felton Bequest to create something in his own will that developed the arts in Victoria. This award, designed by the Trustees in partnership with the NGV, serves as a demonstration of the power of philanthropy to nurture and support artists and designers, vital to a thriving society.”

The participating artists in 2012 are: Garry Bish, Robin Bold, Emma Davies, Mark Edgoose, Neville French, Titania Henderson, Marian Hosking, Richard Morrell, Ian Mowbray, David Pottinger, David Ray, Owen Rye, Yhonnie Scarce and Katherine Wheeler.

Amanda Dunsmore, Curator, International Decorative Arts & Antiquities, NGV, said, “The choice of a theme for this year’s Award, rather than a specific area of practice, allows great scope for interpretation. Many of the works employ a sculptural aesthetic while remaining inherently functional, yet they play with the possibilities of what might be, beyond their practical value. Other works are presented in the context of a traditional concept.”

Previous recipients of the Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award are Neville Assad-Sadha (1994) for ceramics, Robert Baines (1997) for metalwork, Louise Weaver (2003) for textiles, Sally Marsland (2006) for jewellery and Simone LeAmon (2009) for seated furniture.

Emma Mayall, Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, said, “This year’s group of artists represents a diverse mix of emerging and established practitioners. The vibrancy of Victorian design is highlighted through the wide range of practice and media represented, including ceramics, glass, metalwork, plastics and natural materials.”

The recipient of the 2012 Cicely & Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award is Marian Hosking. The prize of $30,000 was awarded to Ms Hosking for her work Clearing. Ms Hosking said, “It’s an honour to be chosen for an award that celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of contemporary Victorian craft and design. I’m overwhelmed to be selected from such a stellar group and appreciate that craft is visible within the National Gallery of Victoria.”

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anim(us) / Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney, Australia

animus exhbition at Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney, Australia

anim(us) exhibition / Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney, Australia
21 February – 17 March 2012

Opening recepetion on Saturday 25 February, 3-5 pm
Curated by Sarah Vandepeer.

Tanya Chaitow, Lynda Draper & Jacqui Hudson explore the relationship between emotion and creativity, producing uncanny works that teeter between the beautiful and the strange. Animal references found in the artists’ work made might be interpreted as manifestations of the animus ego, as defined by Carl Jung. The anima or animus is an anthropomorphic archetype that we only experience fleeting glimpses of in dreams and it is a powerful source of creative ability.

Ambiguity and whimsy are important elements in Tanya Chaitow’s work and her fanciful paintings and drawings blur past and present, fact and fiction, internal and external reality. By adopting a naïve style, she is able to work intuitively and her works are emotionally charged. In her work the deer appears as an archetype of the self. This susceptible figure floats through the tangled branches of Chaitow’s surreal dreamscapes, leaving us with a poignant sense of vulnerability. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tanya Chaitow immigrated to Australia in 1978. She completed her Masters of Fine Art at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales at the end of 2007. She is regularly selected for the Dobell Prize for Drawing and her work is represented in both public and private collections in Australia, South Africa and the USA.

Lynda Draper fashions ethereal sculptures from stoneware, using opaque white surfaces to evoke a sense of faded memories and nostalgia. Draper’s work is based on a belief that our interpretation of the world is drawn from a well of personal memories and experiences. Christian iconography, infantile animal shapes and strange organic growths all appear across her oeuvre, blended into quirky configurations that beguile or repel.

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