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.