Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Q&A with Artist In Residence Pamela Rawnsley


      Tell us about yourself – how did you become a jeweller?
·         After 4 years at Art College in the U.K., where I worked in many different materials, I eventually set up my own studio as a jeweller.

·         Welcome us to your studio - where is it?
·         While I’m at JamFactory I’m based in a corner of the Metal Studio next to the Associates, but at home in Wales my studio is in a small barn on the hill farm where I live in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

·         What made you decide to come across the globe to work in the Metal Design Studio at the JamFactory in South Australia?
·         I’ve been aware of both JamFactory and South Australian jewellery for some time, so when a funding opportunity became possible then a residency at JamFactory as part of a bigger project was top of my list!

·         Are there any specific quotes, ideas, places that influence your current body of work?
·         ‘Landscape...... a mixture of imagination,geology and belonging.’ Robert Macfarlane

·         You have mentioned how the natural landscape is an influence on your work. Can you elaborate on this? And what have you experienced of the Australian landscape? What influence do you think this may have?
·         It’s the very particular landscape I live in, not landscape generally. It’s an area of mountains and secret valleys, hidden lakes high up and unexpected; iron-rich red soil and soft green hillsides. And most of all, wild and fast changing weather! The atmospheric conditions continually change what you see.
·         In Australia I’ve been able to go to the Flinders Ranges which was an unforgettable experience. The strong clear light, amazing colours and extraordinary rock formations will definitely be an influence, and will hopefully see me re-introduce colour into my work.

Rugged Landscape of Wales

             Does your method of production at the JamFactory differ from how you work in Wales, and how?  
             In Wales most of my recent work is in silver, both jewellery and objects, and is part of a consistent body of work. I’ve begun my residency at JamFactory by working through many new ideas,  drawing, model making, collaging metal components. By documenting them continuously I’m generating many possibilities quite fast which I will refine later.        
             Tell us about some of the experiences and challenges you have come across whilst being in Australia? 
        The small amount of travel I've done has been fantastic..... wish I had more time! I’m enjoying meeting so many other artists, seeing such a wide variety of work and learning about different materials. And Adelaide has some great museums and exhibitions too. Challenges..... I’m a long way from home! 
Pamela Rawnsley Artist Talk at JamFactory

·         What’s next for your practice after Australia?
       My residency at JamFactory is part of an 18 month project, supported by  funding from the Arts Council of Wales, which will enable me to produce a new body of work. (This happens along with the continuation of my current practise.) I was nominated for the funding by Ruthin Craft Centre, one of the U.K.’s premier galleries for the applied arts who have offered me a solo exhibition of this new work. And I hope it will be possible to tour the show both in Britain and, who knows, Australia!
      Pamela will be at Jamfactory for rest of September.
      Visit her website at http://www.caeraumetals.com/

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Prue Venables on Vitrify & Creative Director's Choice

Tell us about the Creative Director’s Choice Exhibition.
I’ve chosen seven people for this exhibition. I think seven is a good number for this space. Each of these artists are people whose work I’ve followed for a long time, and really enjoyed watching the scope of how they approach their practice, and how their work reflects their personality. It’s work that I really admire. There are many many fantastic ceramic artists in Australia
I think all this work is really contemporary, but there is no theme for the exhibition. It’s just people who I really admire and respect.

Helen Fuller

I wasn’t looking for any particular style. I’m just looking for an individual approach to actually working with the material in an inventive way. There are some methods in common, but I think there’s something about a person sitting with the clay material and just exploring it that is reflected really strongly in these pieces of work.  I feel each person has taken on a great challenge with the material. They may have started with a traditional technique, but they’ve actually extended it into a way of working that’s become very
 much their own. 

Bruce Nuske
It’s interesting because they are working in the field of ceramics but there are influences of other visual approaches to things. There is architecture (Susan Robey is an architect), painting (Helen Fuller is a painter who has only recently come to ceramics). Each is working in a unique way that reflects their own life experiences.

Amy Kennedy
 All of the work surpasses being about a technique; it’s actually taken a material and a technique and done something that’s far beyond that.

How does this exhibition in Gallery Two compliment or fit in with HyperClay and Vitrify?
I think Vitrify and Hyperclay are exhibitions of work of a very high standard by very developed artists in their field. Both of these exhibitions provide an opportunity to include some wonderful work in this whole JamFactory-wide celebration of ceramics.

Susan Robey

These exhibitions are timed to coincide with the upcoming Ceramics Conference in Adelaide. Can you elaborate on that?
Yes, the ceramics conference is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the amazing variety of ceramics that are made here in Australia. We have these fantastic gallery spaces here and so it’s an opportunity for all of the ceramic artists who are coming to South Australia for the conference to see work of this high quality. The JamFactory is playing a very particular role in showcasing this level of work.

Louise Boscacci

You are also on the judging panel for Vitrify. Can you tell us about the award and the exhibition?
From a very highly competitive field, numerous ceramic artists entered from all over Australia and we, the three judges, Noel Franklin, Robert Reason and myself,  poured over the entries. We had many images  to look at and eventually decided on Stephen Bird, Tania Rolland, Neville French and Julie Bartholomew as the finalists. Three from NSW and Neville French is from Victoria. We chose them on the quality of their work, the inventiveness of their approach and also on the description of what they were planning to do should they be awarded a place in the final. Each had to provide a proposal of what they would create for a joint exhibition.
The three judges are all from different backgrounds; Noel Franklin is head of the School of art in Hobart, Robert Reason is the Curator of European and Australian Decorative Arts in the Art Gallery of South Australia, and I’m a Ceramic Artist and I’ve been a teacher for thirty years, so we all come from different backgrounds but we all have a strong love of ceramic art, and so working together as a team has been very interesting. The quality of work that’s been sent in for the final is very high and diverse. Just having this first initial look it’s going to be a very tough competition to decide who will be the final winner.
The quality, the technical expertise, the inventiveness and the personality in each of the artist’s work is quite extraordinary, so it’s yet another exciting exhibition here at JamFactory.

Stephen Bird

 Can you tell us about the artists selected?
Tania Rolland’s work has a very graphic quality. There is a beautiful essence of drawing  and its integration with ceramic  form and materials. The work of Neville French has a soft sculptural sort of ethereal landscape quality to it, reflecting his inspiration of the landscape at Lake Mungo.  Both Tania and Neville’s work is very strong and interesting.
Tania Rolland
Neville French
Julie Bartholomew’s work is about  showcasing  a hundred distinct critically endangered Australian flowers. These flowers are  shaped from white porcelain and held in a petri-dish-like container, suspended off the floor. They just make you want to explore, and also reflect the sadness that all these plants are getting lost. It’s almost as if the red glaze they are sitting in is like blood and there’s something leaking away.  It’s very strong and poignant as an installation.

Julie Bartholomew
Stephen’s work is extraordinary. It makes reference to the European ceramic traditions that relate to his origins in North Staffordshire in the UK.  Stephen uses humor and propaganda, and depicts meaningless violence to make observations about issues including politics, cultural imperialism and the global power struggle.  It’s extraordinary work!  For example, the paint tray and a whole collection of objects that are so beautifully made that they look like you could just pick them up and use them. It’s technically very impressive, but the underlying story behind it is also quite intriguing and challenging.

Stephen Bird

Vitrify is showing at JamFactory in CollectorSpace and the Showroom on level one until 1 October, with the winner being announced Friday 28 September.