Sunday, 21 April 2013

Off the Square Exhibition at Belconnen Arts Centre

Im very excited to share with you my new ceramic pieces that have been created for an upcoming exhibition Off the Square at the Belconnen Arts Centre.  The exhibition consists of a selection of Craft ACT: Craft + Design members to display their art practice during Canberra's art month in May.

Mother was an excellent cook. Photography: Art Atelier
My artwork for Off the Square is inspired by the traces of the earliest settlers tell us about the everyday lives of these people. The objects they discard and leave behind can be used to understand their everyday life, including those lives who have left very little historical evidence even in the most recent periods of
our past. The discarded medicine bottles, china, machine parts and old cooking-ware hint at the tales these relics tell and the people who used them. 

Observing the tension between objects which are infused with meaning and objects which are taken for granted, I am particularly interested in kitchen paraphernalia and domestic objects that have evolved as technology has developed. Many of these objects are associated with women's work, whose lives are often overlooked and not recorded in history. Objects of domesticity and the scenes they create have so many fleeting and transient memories associated with them.

Poverty can make pioneering a challenging battle, and it was often heavier on women than on men, who were expected to 'keep house' in the most challenging conditions with none of the conveniences of running water or electricity we are accustomed to today. 

The writings and diaries of early Australians such as Miles Franklin who wrote about life in the bush in the Brindabella Mountains and outskirts of Goulburn has inspired my work as have the memoirs of Sylvia Curley who's family resided in Mugga Mugga cottage before Canberra was established. Mugga Mugga cottage remains a tribute to our history, having been preserved against the advances of technology and encroaching urban sprawl with the foresight of Sylvia Curley.

Interior scenes of Mugga Mugga cottage have been carefully hand drawn and painted onto the porcelain ceramic surface of billy cans. The scenes explore nostalgia and memory of previous eras whilst the ceramic shapes reference methods of cooking used by pioneering Australian's. The blue on white ceramic is reminiscent of ceramic houseware made in Delft in the Netherlands in the 16th century and more recently the English Willow pattern popular in 18th century english kitchen and homewares.

Her duties were to learn the art of housekeeping.
Photography: Art Atelier
Off the Square opens at 5.30pm Friday 10 May at the Belconnen Arts Centre and will show until Sunday 26 May. 

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