Sunday, February 27, 2011

forming words

words are the basis for my mark making on ceramics and so
when i was asked to be apart of the exhibition forming words
i was thrilled, not only be be able to be part of a show
curated by Ingrid Tufts and Sophie Milne, but to also
be able to exhibit my work beside potters that i have long admired

the exhibition runs from 4-25 march
Pan Gallery
142-144 Weston Street Brunswick East

if you are in melbourne town and are interested please pop along
to support this show and the wonderful team at Pan Gallery

below is the exhibition info
and then i thought i would share my artist statement also...


Text on ceramics has a long and rich history, from ancient pictograms scratched on clay tablets to provocative works from the conceptual art movement of the 60s and 70s. Forming Words is an exhibition designed to explore and articulate ideas within this popular movement in ceramic practice.

Ceramic art has the ability to communicate without words, through touch, sight and use, making the decision to incorporate text a deliberate and potentially provocative choice. Eight Australian ceramicists exhibit works that explore how the written word furthers our appreciation of a three dimensional artwork, merging text and form to convey a cohesive idea.


My ceramic art practice has always started and ended with words and poetry. Words are to my ceramic work like any mark, decoration, or design.

As well as being a ceramic artist I am also a poet, and in my current practice it is these words that are used in the creation of my ceramic vessels.

It is important that in both mediums (on paper and on clay) the words are pared back, spaced, and laid out in a way that is both deliberate and happenstance at the same time. Each letter stamped into the clay is applied in a similar way to the organic nature of the vessel, creating work that in its mark and shape, hopefully harmonise.

It is also a deliberate act to colour the text to look inky and brown, occasionally having another colour enter the mix highlighting a word or phrase.

More often than not the poems (although most already existing) find their own rhythm on each pot, swirling, climbing, hiding amongst and along the simple hand built and draped vessels.

A strange thing has happened along the way also… I have found putting the words from the pages of my poetry books to a ceramic vessel has allowed the poems to have a different audience. Someone who wouldn’t normally like poetry in the form of lines on a page are led into it by means of clay. Some vessels need to be moved and turned to read the poem, some people touch to feel the indentation of words. The poem becomes an object that can be held… a keepsake, a message, a story… just in different clothes.

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