‘Burning Curiosity’ at Sturt Gallery
‘Burning Curiosity’ at Sturt Gallery is a beautifully callibrated show. Each ceramic artist creates unique, wood fueled, ‘kiln weather’ glazes from different elements: fused salt, by Sandy Lockwood, molten rock and ash by Steve Harrison and tin oxide and silver nitrate by Megan Patey .
The epic in the everyday imbues the functional resonance of these pots.
Haptic awareness plays through the tactile fluidity of Sandy Lockwood’s thrown clay compositions, textured accretion forms and meandering finger trailed slips.
Megan Patey has painted pigments on clay for forty years. Her sinewy brush gestures seem to emanate from the lightness of air and space around her body to alight in irridescent scatter patterns on simple round and square dish forms.
Steve Harrison has returned to mark making as a way to draw his fragile psyche through the trauma of the 2019 bushfire that destroyed his entire means of production.
In his renewed engagement with translucent white sericite, Steve’s thrown, lense like forms carry firey patterns that alude to the terryfying view of sparks and embers that he winessed through the spyhole of the fibre kiln that saved his life when he crawled inside to shelter from the inferno.
John Freeland’s opening remarks aknowledged the potters’ existential creative resiliance in concert with life’s uncertainties. ‘Lineage’ His comprehensive article about the work of the three artists is featured in the current issue of the Journal of Australian ceramics.vol 61 No 2 July 2022
(note: the fantastic term ‘ kiln weather’ was invented by Neil Hoffman to allude to the range of atmospheres that can be conjured in kilns.)
Indeed a wonderful Sunday at Sturt: in and out of the gallery, the artists’ talks, the archive, the wood firings, encountering old friends, strolling through the garden, Hellebores galore.
© Toni Warburton 2022