Saturday, 10 October 2015


Fiona Hiscock

October 2015

This is Fiona Hiscock's first solo exhibition with her new gallery, presenting the vessels that are well know and well loved bowls, trays, pitchers, vases, and featuring a spray of wall plaques.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Benwell & Halpern

SAM Shepparton Art Museum 

October 2015

The superb 'wall of ceramics' display case at SAM is currently devoted to the work of two Melbourne potters Stephen Benwell & Deborah Halpern.

This duo is a brilliant combination, certainly not the first time they have been displayed together.  These works remain vital and shake off any lingering doubts about West Coast funk, or 80s cringe.

Congrats to SAM for a collection that has depth and longevity. Halpern's later work is represented by a mosaic sculpture. I'd love to see her get her hands muddy again and see what springs forth.

Installation is matched wonderfully with a contemporary wall piece. I wonder who did it?

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award

Shepparton Art Museum

Saturday 22 August 2015 to 22 November 2015

Another spontaneous school holiday road trip treat: the Ceramic Award. This year there is barely a vessel in sight.  Really enjoyed and was inspired by the challenge this show set for me. And that is:
how these incredible objects expand the use of material and process.
I don't envy the job of the selectors.

SAM Director Kirsten Paisley said: The five shortlisted artists are exemplary artists, each building and contributing to the use of ceramics as a medium. Their practices span historical cultural themes, revisit modernist concerns, delve into social issues and moreover each challenge our understanding of ceramic art and its positioning within contemporary practice. In this suite of five exhibitions ceramics as a process medium, a collaborative medium collided with other materials and as a material with technical limitations and extraordinary capabilities its own right will be evidenced. I congratulate each of the artists for being shortlisted for the 2015 Australian ceramic art award and look forward to working with them.

The 2015 shortlisted artists are:
Penny Byrne
Ruth Hutchinson
Sanné Mestrom
Adam John Cullen and
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran who took out the $50,000 prize.

Penny Byrne  Returned, 2015

My work is increasingly focused on riots, public protest, conflict, and more recently with the impact of the individuals of these events. (pb)

Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran Archipelago, 2015

I use the symbol of the phallus as an anchor point to generate discussions around colonialism, religion, creation and the body. (rmn)

 Ruth Hutchinson, Hell Mouth, 2015
' ... references a 12th century drawing by an anonymous artist from an ailuinated manuscript - the Winchester Psalter (c1500). Depicting the mouth of a beast that is represented as a medieval passageway to hell." (wall text)

 Sanne Mestrom, Leftovers, 2015
'...she has drawn on the work of contemporary rather than historical artists, writing a series of letters to those that have had a formative influence on her practice. She identified international 'art heroes' and Australian colleagues, inviting them to contribute a discarded scrap, or residual form from the production of their works, which then became the organising principle for her own.' (wall text)

Clive Murray White's electrical tape

Adam John Cullen, Forever Stuff, 2015

'... Cullen casts the negative forms of vessels gleaned from opportunity shops and roadside inorganic collections, and the items are imbued with plaster, wax and concrete...(c)haracterised by exquisite textures and punctuated with coloured oxide powders, orbs, spheres and urns can also reveal layers of furniture, textiles and linoleum, or shards of ceramic plates.' (wall text)

It's an archaelogical dig, except the materials are not the remains of a past civilisation; they are the objects of my immediate surroundings, in a way they can be seen as a material history of the current day.' (ajc)

10th Mildura Palimpsest

Mildura Arts Centre & Rio Vista 

2-5 October 2015

Murray River Punch  is one of Ely's most well known performances and a significant example of the Australia environmental art. The image following shows Ely's performance in Adelaide, near the mouth of the Murray in 1980. 
Murray River Punch, performance in Adelaide 1980
Murray River Punch, Ingredients, (1980), NGV collection

On a recent school holiday road trip, we stumbled upon the Palimpsest opening at Mungo Lakes & an exhibition of Ely's most recent work. 
Interior Decoration (Installation, 2013-2015) was part of this year's Palimpsest which explores the inter-generational effects of untreated post-traumatic stress disorder. Ely untilises family furniture (she grew up on a soldier settlement in Robinvale) and her father's WW2 military service experiences. The context of the house museum Rio Vista expands the domestic narratives of the objects that Ely has created. 

Family home of the Chaffey brothers. Famed for bringing California irrigation to the Murray River& regions. Rio Vista is now a splendid house museum adjoining the Mildura Art Gallery.

MASTER BEDROOM, Sewing Machine Gun.

BATHROOM, Mirror Mirror


NURSERY,  Baby Boy

HALLWAY, DUKW Cradle. Amphibious landing vehicles transported troops and supplies in PNG

WOOD PANELS, Tour of Duty Palestine, Watchtowers documented by following artist's father's Battalion service in Egypt and Israel. 


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