A Group Exhibition of Ceramics, ‘BUILT’ introduces guest artist Ann Ferguson from Castlemaine, alongside Karen Steenbergen and Kirsty Manger.
BUILT explores thoughtful urban development and inspirational design, & it’s interaction with the natural environment.
Ann Ferguson is an awarded artist from central Victoria Australia, whose passion is for making artwork with clay. Her ceramic projects include large multi piece 3D works, totems, murals and collaborations with other artists and mediums. She also devises teaching programs for early childhood.
“20 Rose Avenue Glen Waverly was my ‘growing up place.’
My home was a beautiful A frame house built on a large bush block in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne in the 1950s. Our family of 6 lived initially in a tiny simple A frame as my father lovingly built our forever home, an A frame with side wings designed by architect David Chancellor. We all loved that house, the care taken in its crafting and the creativity that it fostered in the lives of our family. Inside the house one experienced a feeling of freedom and exhilaration as the light streamed in from great sheets of glass to the west. Outside there was something unique about the house and the way it occupied landscape, sitting happily amongst the surrounding stringy barks and box eucalypts.”
‘Settlement ‘ is my first reflection upon this experience of home. Here I have enjoyed experimenting with the triangular A frame structure and offering the possibility of many different ways of placing the five pieces.
The House, Rock, Tree groupings are a development of the built environment theme and make obvious the important connection too often neglected between the built environment and the natural world.
Bird Houses are a flight away from the obsessive need to create more and more real estate for humans. Triangular structures are made this time to suggest that safe places are an entitlement for all creatures.
Karen Steenbergen is a Ceramic Artist and Teacher and Community Arts Project Coordinator, under bushiness name: KARst Ceramics working in Melbourne’s West and on the Surf Coat who has been producing and working with clay for over 16 years.
Karen has completed a Graduate Diploma in Ceramics, Cert IV in Training and Assessment, and Bachelor of Science in Community Development. Using clay as the medium and process for improving the mental health of individuals and local community groups through connection and self-expression, is important to her.
For Lorne Sculpture Biennale 2022, Karen was involved with a Construction Workshop. She is also honoured to have her work in the Geelong Gallery Store and is excitingly working on large pieces for Cloudehill Gardens Diggers Shop.
Exploring BUILT Karen developed two series of work, one, the Loy Yang Series, made from White Stoneware clay. Karen grew up in Latrobe Valley, where the various power stations dominated the landscape. The cooling towers of Loy Yang Power Station rise up out of the pastural land. The flowing curves of the cooling towers were the inspiration. The iconic curve shape was used in both its positive and negative space form, creating uniquely shaped pieces that both speak with strength on their own or sit together, connected as a community group. The texture and colour on the outside of the work represents the gum trees and farm houses nearby.
During a recent trip to Denmark and Germany, Karen spent some time at a ceramic residency at Gulddysse Kulturgard, a community based ceramic studio near Roskilde in Denmark. Living and traveling around Roskilde City, Copenhagen, and northern Germany, observing the mix of contemporary and historic architecture and rooflines and the prevalence of green hedge fences. This provided much of the inspiration for the new BUILT – Europa Series of vessels made of German black and white stoneware clay, textured using Danish tree bark, sourced from a forest area, close to the oldest living tree in Northern Europe.
Kirsty Manger of Yum Design Ceramic, re-visiting the city, looked at Melbourne with new eyes, appreciating the beauty of the heritage buildings against the more modern architecture and immersing herself in the green spaces of the Greening Laneway initiative. The physical and mental benefits these green spaces give is vital. She created ‘Mini Scapes’ that explore the importance of green space within the urban environment and the benefit these have on all. The handbuilt Crystal ceramic Urban forms are designed to symbolise the many styles of architecture found in the city including the minimalist and ornate. Their surface markings encapsulate the pulsating energy of the ‘big smoke’. The delicious glazes of the Landscape Bowls represent water and plants and can be filled with natural collections to create your very own urban green space. eg moss, water, seeds.
There will also be new work from Bridget Foley inspired by Point Lonsdale Beach, the surrounding ‘habitat’.
Running from September 2nd to 25th, there will be a “Meet the Artists‘ session on the second weekend, Saturday September 10th from 2-4pm.