Expressive individual ceramics by talented early career artists.
Date: 9 -25 September 2011
Place: Malvern Artists' Society Gallery, 1297-99 High Street, Malvern
Hours: Open daily 11am - 6pm, except Monday
Enquiries:  0416 085 002


Amy Cohen
Artist Statement

In my work I use themes developed from the world of nature to create a personal, intuitive interpretation of the feminine. I develop natural forms based on seashells and plant forms combined with the human anatomy to create images that are organic but do not have a direct resemblance to any actual natural object. Rather, my works serve as a way of reminding the viewer of nature and our relationship with the natural world. I draw analogies between these natural forms and the female anatomy through the use of curves and lines in order to make clear the parallels that I see between myself, my work and the natural world.

Amy Kennedy
Artist Statement

Across all facets of nature, many structures capture my attention. Externally breathtaking, fragile and intimate, spiralling surface movements lead my eye and imagination inwards towards contained and mysteriously hidden interior spaces. It is my fascination with such qualities that inspires my work. Fine, paper-thin sheets of glaze material are slowly built up in order to form compacted, intimate and tightly layered objects. Working with density, texture and movement, I use the flowing layers like the opening pages of a book or fluttering piles of fabric to create a windblown or whirlpool effect, leading to a hidden core.

Dean Smith
Artist Statement

Dean Smith is an Australian ceramic artist and potter creating contemporary, highly refined wheel-thrown vessels from stoneware and porcelain clay. Dean has an interest in Industrial aesthetics and geometry in nature such as rocks and crystal forms – the chaotic and ordered structures embedded within them. His vessels are ritualistic, encapsulating and celebrating the relationship and metamorphosis of raw material/rocks and metal. The rich and complex glazes further convey the elemental properties of rocks and metal and the unexpected gifts they produce.

Born 1971 in Brisbane, Dean was introduced to pottery as a teenager by his mother and began making pots with his father and firing them in their backyard gas-fired kiln. From this pivotal experience, ceramics became Dean’s life path. Largely self-taught, he received some training at Southbank Tafe in Brisbane and from Master Potter Ted Secombe who introduced him to crystalline glazes. After living and working in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, Dean settled in Castlemaine, Victoria with his partner Ana and their young son Vito. Living opposite an historic gold mine strewn with volcanic rock, quartz, ochre and machine relics, has given Dean direct access to some of the elements that inspire his work.

Helen Martin
Artist Statement

In my world the making and giving of hand knitted and crocheted objects implies warmth, comfort and love and the making and use of domestic ceramic tableware implies nourishment and sustenance.  My art practice has become a fusion of both these notions.

I make textile-like ceramic objects, bowl and plate forms.  Firstly, in relaxation and daydream mode, I knit and crochet simple forms from pure wool – square, rectangular, round.  I then soak these in a feldspathic glaze, dry them, and fire them.  The wool burns out leaving the detail of the pattern and fibre captured in glaze.  In subsequent firings, these pieces are slumped in a mould to achieve the desired shape.

Janetta Kerr-Grant
Artist Statement

In the past few years I have been a regular commuter along the Western Highway to Ballarat. Often I am homeward bound travelling in the half-light of dusk or later when the sky is completely black. These experiences began to seep into my work as a ceramicist.

With these vessels I wanted to capture that fleeting beauty when the sharp edges of daylight give way to the more ambiguous richness of nightfall. The heavy daytime traffic is simplified and softened into a sinuous procession of lights.
This series of stoneware platters depict the flattened geometry of overhead signs, the constant flow of tail-lights and the soft glow of streetlights.

Kim-Anh Nguyen
Artist Statement

Road Less Travelled Series

The extraordinary beauty of the Australian landscape, especially in the outback, inspires this collection of work, which is spiritual and sacred to the Aboriginal people.

The vessel is coiled from Southern Ice Porcelain and multiple coloured slips are applied to these vessels and then carved. The carvings bring forth the tactile quality to my work and portray part of my journey through the night when my imagination and creative forces are most intense.

The markings left behind as a result not only provide me with texture and some nuances but also represent the honesty in the work, i.e. these marks have not been altered. It shows the process in the making, which is central to my work.

Maria Vanhees
Artist Statement

My work is inspired by the natural forms and landscapes that I encounter during bushwalks.
I’m especially interested in forms of animal architecture that have a quality of sheltered protection, or in hollows, curves and remarkable shapes in rocks and trees which I irresistibly have to curl up in or climb into.
I create my biomorphic ceramic sculptures with a variety of hand building techniques. The flashings and marks on the surface of the glazed pieces are the result of soda firing to earthenware temperatures.

The slow and hands-on building processes allow my intuition to take over until it feels as if the clay is working with me rather than the other way around. It is in this process that I reconnect with the original experience of inspiration. However, even though the forms originate in my personal life, in the end they become metaphors of human emotions and social relations that everyone can relate to.

Natasha Hosny
Artist Statement

Architecture and city planning shape the urban environment, creating social realities of both empty and full spaces. I am interested in the relationship between these environments and the individual - how space affects the individual’s experience.

I have used the ceramic medium, more specifically porcelain, knowing that it may shift and move in the firing process, moving and changing carefully negotiated objects into newly formed positions.

Sophie Thomas
Artist Statement

My spiral forms are hand built and altered into asymmetrical and abstract forms that reference the spiral structures of shells. The balance and connection between the spiral form, pattern and surface texture that I have observed in shells I aim to capture in my ceramics.

The richly coloured textural surfaces are developed by carving through multi layers of coloured slip to produce a visually interesting and tactile surface that encourages touch. This technique creates a vibrant sense of energy through the contrasts of colour, whilst integrating with the form giving the illusion that the textural surface has grown with the form.
Spiral Forms are made of porcelain and fired in an oxidation firing to 1260 or 1280 degrees.

Susan Acheson
Artist Statement

This series of work is based around the energy produced by people and their relationships with their surroundings. Each of the wheel thrown balls is a person, showing their personality and response to different situations.
We have our shiny, bright, colourful side which comes out when we are with people we don’t know very well - when we want to make an impression. Then there is another quieter, more interesting side for when we are with those that we love and know well.

Some of the balls are large and loud. Others are quiet, subtle, and interesting when you get to know them better. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes - and colours. Each one is an individual.
The marks I make on these pieces is a response to the early morning and late evening light that shines through the trees. The light flows through, leaving strong shadows and patterns on anything it touches, which is echoed in the wood firing process.

Flame flows through gaps and around objects - often showing the path of the flame as it travels. The ash collects in or on the edge of the indentations - as light does on objects in its path.

In each sculpture, the relationship of each piece to another is important, as I feel we all influence each other to some extent - a passing meeting or a relationship may leave a lasting impression - this could be a shadow or a ray of light.

Tatiana Gvozdetskaya
Artist Statement

I am a ceramic sculptor with a background in nuclear engineering.  Although at first glance these two career paths seem very dissimilar I have been able to utilize many engineering concepts in the design and construction of my pieces.  I particularly enjoy the challenge of making clay behave in a similar way to wood and metal.  My work is Neo-Constructivist in style following the precepts of two great artists from my original homeland, the Ukraine: the Suprematist painter/sculptor Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935), and the Constructivist sculptor Vladimir Tatlin (1895-1956).

At present my sculptures are domestic in scale and fall into two groups: wall sculptures and free-standing pieces.  All of them are made from fine porcelain clay and finished with matt glazes.  Their construction involves both wheel-thrown and hand-built components.  For the time being  black will remain the principal ’colour’ but I hope to gradually introduce more pure colour into the work.

Some people may find my work severe and uncompromising and I suppose it might well give that impression.  It is certainly minimalist.  What I am really trying to do is to develop an elemental ‘language’ of more or less pure geometric forms through which I can express my ideas and feelings about life, art, and existence.

Tim Clarkson
Artist Statement

Drawing inspiration from Japanese origami my work combines traditional origami forms with cultural influences from around the world. The origami crane has been used to symbolise the need for peace between various cultures and acts as a canvas on which thoughts and ideas can be freely expressed.

The distortion of the form demonstrate how things can be changed and altered and still manage to retain their original essence. I want the viewer to connect with the pieces and not be fooled by what they think they are seeing.