Reveal time!

I’m excited to show the birds in their beautiful frame.  The public art consultants Artduo engaged Kurt Wang from Fidoso Picture Framing to frame not just one set of birds but two! I’ll reveal the 2nd set soon.

He did a wonderful job and arranged the birds as I had envisaged. I’m incredibly lucky the client and all involved agreed on the colour scheme of the background, slightly deep set box frame and warm colour to highlight the beauty of each bird. Sometimes minimalist can speak louder than words, in this case the porcelain and patterns lure the viewer in to see what the art is all about.

Photo courtesy of Artduo (edited by Anne) who collaborated with Novotel Sydney City Centre on this special renovation and newly launched Birdie Bar and Brasserie.

Closeup of Birdie | Public Artwork

A little preview of what’s to come. This is a closeup of one of my artworks located at Novotel City Centre in Sydney, Australia. I created a series of larger birds with patterns derived from the wallpaper chosen for the interiors of the recently launched Birdie Bar & Brasserie. Each one is hand made with a bird pattern and its accompanying flora. They are slipcast, pierced and /or pressed, fired twice, sanded, polished and then placed in their new home. I’ll reveal if it’s a plinth or wall artwork…can’t help myself as I do love a good art mystery!

Photo courtesy of Artduo who collaborated with Novotel on this special renovation.

Birdie | Novotel Sydney City Centre | new public artwork

In late 2023, I was approached to make birds for a hotel located in the heart of Sydney. I was overseas at the time, but the public art consultants and their client were happy to wait till I got home. I spent 3 and half months researching and making 22 birds based on the wallpaper in a new restaurant aptly called Birdie Bar and Brasserie. See previous post for restaurant interior. I can now reveal that Novotel Sydney City Centre are the proud owners of my artworks. Keep an eye out as I’ll post reveal the birds soon in their new home. Portrait of me by Andrew Sikorski who’s on instagram @art_atelier_photo. My gorgeous blue dress from London when we visited there in late 2023 from my favourite fashion house @andotherstories on Instagram and Facebook (&otherstories).

Soon to be revealed … a public art commission

I’m a little excited as recently I had a new public artwork installed in a hotel in the heart of Sydney’s City Centre. The wallpaper seen here was chosen for the interior of a newly launched restaurant and provided inspiration for the interior design team to engage me to create me two new bodies of work. Watch this space as I roll out what I made and where they are located. I do love a slow reveal.

I’m in an ad campaign!

Gosh! This was a while ago and I realised that I totally forgot to post about it here on my ceramics website. Admittedly, it was to promote my gallery (Gallery of Small Things | GOST), but my work did feature in the campaign by my local tourism body, VisitCanberra. They worked with Creative Agency Wunderman Thompson Australia to create a major domestic tourism campaign promoting Canberra and places to visit. I was one of three chosen for their Feb-July 2023 campaign. My little dishes feature in the campaign and I did suggest the pistachio to show just how tiny my ceramic dishes are 🙂

So, to see the ad please click on the YouTube video below:

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

Did you know, on the 4th level of the V&A, is room after room filled with ceramics! The Ceramic Galleries has rooms 136 to 146 showcase ceramics in a timeline from contemporary to 2500 BC. I had to visit twice. There was so much to take in and I needed more time to truly soak in the beauty of this vast collection. A map is included in the photos below.

Standouts for me included: 

the large cup by Robin Levien in the middle of room 140 in the 2000 and below period. I equated this object to the Chair. In my extensive travels around the world, one thing I did note was how often the ‘chair’ was featured prominently. To be fair, we do tend to visit design and craft spaces so this would explain it. I just love how the V&A has placed a ceramic cup in a prominent space to remind us form, function and beauty does exist in all created objects.

The teaching space in the Timothy Sainsbury Gallery. I love how they displayed the processes that go behind making say a ceramic cup. Often viewers don’t know how much labour, time and energy goes into making a piece and then you are beholden to the kiln gods (the firings can quite literally make or break the outcome).

Yellow dish from Asia room – as you know I love yellow. I couldn’t pass on this gorgeous yellow glaze made for the Chinese imperial court.

The café Gamble Room is the ultimate luxe experience for affordable casual lunches/teas. I also sat in the garden room to admire the courtyard and people watching on a hot Summer’s day. 

Rows upon rows of glass cabinets filled to the brim. I could have stayed all day…

Care | selected group exhibition at CraftACT

From Oct to Dec 2020, a small selection of my sparrows will be on show at CraftACT: Design + Craft Centre in Canberra, Australia.

In 2015, I investigated the disappearance of sparrows in my hometown Canberra. Five years on and after the bushfires raged across Australia and the Sapphire Coast in New South Wales, I felt compelled to revisit this series. Sitting in my studio, I refined the patterns and pierced more holes to emphasize the fragility of birdlife consumed at a rate unseen before. Now, more than ever, we need to care for our wildlife. This poem is for them.

shape the clay / small bird form

make the mould / a nest for the body

pour two slips / create one whole

slow the drying process / Nana’s hankie shelters the bird

pencil on design / bring it to life with marking

pierce with care / patterns reveals you

two firings / fully formed now

sanding and polishing, completed / light and fragile sparrow

Opening night of Protean a huge success!

Anne with (left to right) Megan, Lynda, Lisa, Fiona and Lena on opening night at Protean
Anne with (left to right) Megan, Lynda, Lisa, Fiona and Lena on opening night at Protean

Well it’s now been nine days later after opening night on Friday 3 July 2015 and I’m still on a high as our group exhibition Protean by 19 members from Claybodies Ceramics Group has been a huge success.

So many wonderful people braved 5 degrees and Canberra’s coldest night to date to support our opening. We were all in a state of shock as you could barely move.

Opening night before the masses descended...
Opening night before the masses descended…

But, the excitement and buzzing in the room was fantastic and everyone later said it felt like good vibes and happy people! We think more than 200 visitors attended and stayed till closing.

Niki and I talking about my new works. Note: she is wearing one of my graduating pendants she purchased. Aw, shucks!
Niki and I talking about my new works. Note: she is wearing one of my graduating pendants she purchased. Aw, shucks!

Sales kept our artists busy and catalogues flew out the door. Well at $8 for a beautifully designed book, we are not surprised!

Our group worked really hard to bring this exhibition to fruition as early as August last year. Meetings were held monthly and hotted up from February this year as it became apparent we had a lot of work to coordinate and delegate. Works were discussed with our Curator, Mark Van Veen, former CMAG curator and he provide guidance on selecting 1-3 works each and teaching us the essence of contemplating fewer objects rather than en mass. He also helped with sizing of plinths as we had to make our own plinths. This is rare as most galleries supply them but Nishi Gallery don’t have storage room.

So, my husband Adam spent many weekends and week nights custom making 17 plinths. Our garage became a mountain of boxes until a group of women descended with paint rollers in hand! It was such a great day as rollers went swishing and the boxes started to resemble art gallery plinths.

Adam in his garage with a few plinths...
Adam in his garage with a few plinths…

We also engaged a photographer, artist statement workshop and designer to pull together a stunning catalogue to showcase our works. All of this was purely funded by the artists. No financial assistance was received by local or state government. You wouldn’t want to know how much it cost…but we all truly believe in our practice and that ceramics is a truly wonderful art form that deserves prominence.

So, what work do I have this time? I’ve created a new body of work based on the domestic sparrow. Here is my artist statement in the catalogue:

Dull and brown, flittering in shadows, domestic
Poor little sparrow you are invisible
But I can change that
Porcelain and light, patterns piercing you
Delicate, white and now seen

A few photos from the exhibition which runs till 19 July 2015. Get in quick as works are selling fast! Also check out The Canberra Times and Sydney Morning Herald for a wonderful arts review by Kerry Anne Cousins.

Selfie of Domestic Sparrow series on catalogue and in-situ
Selfie of Domestic Sparrow series on catalogue and in-situ

Fran, Anne and Linda in the local Canberra Weekly

My next exhibition…save the date!

Hello everyone, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ve been busy since Boxing Day making new work for an up and coming exhibition. So, please save the date and if you would like an invite please send me an email request. Thanks, Anne

Save the date
Save the date

Why do all good things come to an end?

This is name of one of my favourite songs and yet it’s all about a breakup between lovers. I love the lyrics and Nelly’s sweet sounds.

So, how does that relate to my exhibition? Two weeks ago, we bumped out of Strathnairn. It was very quick. In less than 2 hrs we all packed up our artworks, labelled the ones that had sold, put a thank you pack with each sold piece and before I knew it I was heading to my friends place to help her with her Kickstarter project.

It’s the strangest feeling when an exhibition comes to an end. Hence the song resonates with that mixed feeling of relief and a tinge of sadness.

You’ve spent months creating, making and stressing about the works and hoping all goes well on opening night. I think we (as in the artists) all dream the night before ‘did I stick that bowl down…will it fall off the wall…should I have made more?’ – quite silly thoughts but artists are constantly assessing, reassessing and wondering how will their works be received? And yet, none of that worry was really needed. We did really well and I thought I’d put up our reviews that appeared in The Canberra Times and The Sydney Morning Herald along with my interview with ABC Radio 666.

Interesting works from Claybodies ceramic artist group

666 ABC Canberra by Louise Maher

To listen to the interview: click here

We’ve had an amazing couple of weeks with our publicity and I’m so grateful to have a community of journalists/photographers/bloggers who support us as best as they can. So, thank you to all those involved and supporting visual artists practice as professionals in the field they love most.

Oh! and if you want to listen to Nelly here she is: