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

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:

Packed to the rafters! Claybodies@Strathnairn opening night a success!

Image courtesy of Strathnairn Arts

Well, we thought a few people might come out on our exhibition opening night but with rain forecast and a chilly afternoon we were a bit worried! But luckily, the skies were blue, the afternoon was only slightly chilly and more than 250 people came to our opening night! I think Linda’s mulled wine, the warm fireplaces and of course fabulous ceramic works for sale were enough for guests to make a little side trip to the country.

Image courtesy of Strathnairn Arts
We think we hit at least 250 attending the night – people had to park in the paddocks as there were no car spaces left!
Richard, Brian and Paul
Richard, Brian and Paul

Strathnairn Arts is a quaint homestead located on the fringes of Canberra’s suburbs. On one side is a horse training facility, vineyards and olive groves and on the other side of the road is suburbia. Most people don’t realise that 15 minutes outside of the city’s center is this wonderful place which showcases the visual arts in it’s two galleries, a shop and cafe. On Sundays in Winter you can purchase wood-fire pizzas and look out into the garden filled with lemon trees, orchids and gum trees (and the occasional horse wandering along the footpath!).

Anyway, we had a great night and speeches went down really well with Strathnairn Arts Board President Alaine King welcoming visitors, ceramic artist and lecturer Joanne Searle formally opening the event on behalf of Anita McIntyre and myself speaking on behalf of the exhibition group. I think the mulled wine settled my nerves. It was great to be able to thank everyone and raise the Claybodies profile – a group of ceramic artists meeting monthly to form networks, exchange ideas and techniques and participate in exhibitions in Canberra.

Image courtesy of Strathnairn Arts
From left to right: Joanne Searle opening our exhibition. Liz Crowe, Melinda Brouwer, Linda Davy, Monika Leone, Anne Masters, Jo Victoria and Erin Kocaj. Pam Crossley in Melbourne but will be at Strathnairn Sunday 29 June as part of ‘Meet the makers’.

We initiated a ‘Meet the makers’ program so artists would be at Strathnairn on the weekends to meet the public and explain the processes involved. Some of us took our work in and made so it was very hands on for children and adults to watch us in action.

Anne in action at 'Meet the makers'
Anne in action at ‘Meet the makers’

It’s our last weekend exhibition this Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June. Hopefully you can come out and meet some of the makers Erin and Pam and check out the works by members of Claybodies.

Photos courtesy of Strathnairn Arts, Canberra Potters Society and artist

My next exhibition – claybodies@strathnairn – 14 June 14

I just realised 14 seems to be a popular date when it comes to me being in group exhibitions. My last exhibition was 14 Feb 14. So, I hope this is a lucky number for me as my 2nd exhibition for 2014 is just @ the corner. As I write this I am down to the wire as I continue to fire my works…but shush! don’t tell anyone ;).

This work is quite different to the Marion series I created for the Feb exhibition and thankfully took less time (3 months vs 2 years!). I did have grand plans of showing a body of work that would involve the flying ducks with a twist. However, technical issues prevented me from continuing this work*. I had to bite the bullet and go back to familiar territory – working with shellac and porcelain.

This series is all about Winter seeds – in particular gumnuts captured in a graphic motif. The colours are as crisp as a Canberra’s winter’s morning and evening – white (morning frost), black (evenings) and bottle green (lush green grass). The white in particular stands out as I’ve used Southern Ice Porcelain – Australian white clay renowned for its finesses and whiteness[1].

This is just a sneak preview of the work which is designed to adorn the walls of your home or work place. They are @ 11.5 c and come as 1, 2 or 3 in a set. Hopefully this snippet will entice you to come and see the exhibition on the opening night – 4pm Saturday 14 June (nibbles, wine and warm fireplaces as winter hits Canberra with a shock!)  or Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays till end June.
Winter seeds series - black as night
Winter seeds series – black as night
Here is the invitation front and back with details.
  claybodies@strathnairn invitationClaybodies invitation back details
* Don’t despair – the ducks haven’t been shot down! I do plan to re-visit them as I really want to explore this iconic wall adornment and reinterpret it with a twist. So, watch this space!

[1] It is also renowned for its translucency – as my work is about wall tiles this feature was not a focus.

Afternoon tea all day! This Sunday 23 February…

Hello everyone,

In case you live or are visiting Canberra and wanted something different to do then visit FORM Studio and Gallery where I’m part of a group show exhibiting ceramic works. We are hosting an afternoon tea all day! this Sunday 23 February.

Yes, come and have a complimentary cup of tea and a decadent slice and meet some of the artists featured in ceraMIX. For more information please view this flyer:

Afternoon tea_ceraMIX_FORM_flyer_final

Thanks, Anne