Brett Bennett, Pie Bolton, Susan Frankel, Nandita Nadkarni & Bernii Wood
22 October - 9 November
Opening Wednesday 22 October, 6.30-8pm
Evolution - changing inherited characteristics giving rise to diversity. Five artists explore the divergence of clay as a medium that dates back to the traditional ancestral vessel.
Brett BennettI am interested in the play of light on, and beyond, the ceramic form and the varied interpretations of the observer.
Pie BoltonI build vessels related to landscape and the geological processes at play in the earth, with my university studies in geology informing my practice. My vessels often have undulating rims reminiscent of mountainscapes. I work with gritty clays reminding me of the earth from which they are derived. My work is generally glazed in coarse shino glazes combined with raw finishes and oxides and fired to stoneware in a large gas kiln in a reducing environment.
I make my works in many locations as mood and necessity take me, often outside in temporary studio areas. My painting in this exhibition explores the connection between 2D and 3D and brings the ceramic form to attention in a traditionally two-dimensional environment.
I love the feelings evoked when I touch the complex glazes and textured surfaces of my vessels. Childhood memories of familiarity and security are triggered – of endless days spent outside surrounded by mountains. Landscape is intrinsically enmeshed in my identity and my practice contributes to my sense of self.
Susan FrankelThe whimsical and quirky are all around us: welcome relief from our serious lives. Whether we've evolved or not, everything is in a state of flux going with the power of nature or the hidden deity. In the mix, it's nice to feel a break from chaos in stillness, arresting movement and the moment, committing it to memory and representation. I can inhabit clay's earthy metamorphosis. It's an exchange that results in the re-emerging. There is character in everything.
Nandita NadkamiWorking with two distinct clay bodies - white translucent porcelain clay and the dense, iron populated stoneware clay - in my current work I have endeavored to create a connection between the smooth surface and the rough textures.
My designs evolve with each vessel and the intricate etchings enhance them. I also use multiple glazes and firings to achieve unusual colour transformations.
Bernii WoodSince 1994 I have undertaken solo bicycle trips throughout Europe with a special focus and interest in Eastern Europe. In 2006 I started documenting these journeys through a travel blog: the blog being the virtual keeper of experiences had and memories made. Piece by piece, objects and vessels have been created to bring these memories to life and, in effect, make something tangible. Clay, inherently a retainer of memory, is the perfect medium by which to transcribe these (slow) travels – it is a medium that requires patience, displays the hand of the maker and is a rewarding process.
A selection of more than 65, predominantly wheel-thrown vessels, of varying sizes and shapes have been made to date documenting aspects of my travels and are showcased as part of this exhibition. The featured bowls and decorative objects use the techniques of sgraffito, inlay and ceramic pencil on high fired stoneware and earthenware clays to tell a story.
The different ways in which memory may be captured, whether through material, process, form or function, the variables and distortions that can arise through these, the resultant narratives, these are my main areas of exploration and focus in my practice.