Rain Shadows

Jane Sawyer

Gallery 4

30 November - 18 December 2016

Opening Wednesday 30 November, 6.30-8pm

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The experience of living in a changing climate, combined with recent travel in Morocco, Gibraltar and Spain, has inspired the work in this exhibition. Vessels for the collection, transport and storage of water honour the elixir of life and are accompanied by the subtle foreboding of their black shadows.

“Building upon her trade-mark touch and flow, or the perception of ‘fluidity’ that the maker’s hands leave
on the clay when wet, Sawyer’s new work translates the concept of fluidity more literally. This exhibition
showcases an exciting addition to Sawyers oeuvre that has not been seen before.” (1.)

The physicality of the relationship between clay and our bodies, and the way messages are conveyed through touch has been central to my work for a long time. Human gestures recorded for all time, like script etched in stone, can provoke wonder, connection and provide multiple dimensions for the reading.
The dominance of vision in our culture as the major mode of interaction begs to be challenged and I’m curious about the scope of objects to provide subtle messages through touch, to bypass or extend our vision. In doing so, fluidity has been a natural exploration for me which has also extended to major explorationsof landscape and the body.

In this new ceramic work fluidity is taken quite literally in the forms of these vessels loosely gathered under the title Rain Shadows. A rain shadow is a dry area on the leeward side of a mountainous area (away from the wind). The mountains block the passage of rainproducing weather systems and cast a "shadow" of dryness behind them. I took this phenomenon as an invitation to explore vessels traditionally associated with water and distorted their forms to create shadows that might provoke echoes of the past or suggestions of an uncertain future.

I am joined by poet and writer, Carolyn Leach-Paholski, who provides words to accompany this body of work. She has written about my work on a number of occasions and our friendship is almost that of a muse to each other. She has an uncanny ability towards poetic surprise with her words and I am so grateful for her insights, her humour and her friendship.

Jane Sawyer, July 2016

1. Bernadette Mansfield, Mansfield Ceramics Gallery, August 2016.


Opening Night wines supplied by