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Slice of Life

Craft goes pop in this exhibition at Craft, where a collection of artists present comments on food, consumption and all the stuff of everyday life. Objects are representational with a deliberate 'handmade-ness' or hyper-real. This is a good opportunity to compare how the past creative genres of West Coast Funk, Skangaroovian Funk or Nut Art can be reinterpreted or reinvented to question contemporary issues. 
Curated by the irrepressible Sofia Cai, she says of the exhibition: The everyday is both universal yet also deeply personal, and it is in this interplay between collective experience and individual narrative that the works in this exhibition achieve their potency. The exhibition features works by Mechelle Bounpraseuth, Julie Burleigh, Scott Duncan, Phil Ferguson (Chili Philly), Katie Jacobs, Josephine Mead, Tricia Page, and Cat Rabbit. 
22 April - 27 May 2017
Craft, 33 Flinders Lane Melbourne

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Still - Tara Shackell

Could it be hewn from stone? What critical differences mark Tara Shackell's work in comparison to the many vessels being made in Melbourne using matt glazes over iron bearing clay?
Shackell acknowledges the primary referent of these glazes: the texture and colouring of stone. To reflect the vagaries of nature found in basalt, marble or slate, Shackell has created a nuanced palette of colouring. Catching my eye is the subtle rose quartz that blooms across the cylinder in the first image. 
Another point of difference is Shackell's nod to historic and universal vessel forms. A cylinder, bowl or a fluted bottle securely reside in this makers craft. Form is important to Shackell and she entitles her work with descriptors of what you see. Titles include 'Flared rim vase, deep pink' and 'Tall curved rim vase, iron grey'
I imagine, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott looking down and giving a wink of praise at Shackell's careful attention to the formal issues required in small gr…

Sun Room - Tessy King

A solo exhibition by Tessy King, curated by Jade Bitar

22 - 27 May 2017

Craft 33 Flinders Lane Melbourne 3000

Tessy King presents a range of her favoured vessel forms. Name them as you please; urn, vase, blossom jar or amphora. They remind us of almost every era & culture that utilised clay to make containers. The great benefits of this form is that it offers a 'blank canvas' for the maker.

Tessy's surface treatments are luscious, a fetishistic depiction of the creamy, viscous joy of plastic clay. The satin glaze exaggerated this sensation. Made from high fired clay, these forms are strong. Their robustness is undermined by a slight 'wonk' in structure and a form that is riddled with gaps and holes.  The delightful tension between opposites continues with  Tessy's witty penchant for adding tiny, 'poorly' made handles that could not possibly assist in the lifting of her vases. These formal decisions and a consistently 'de-skilled' hand, are …

Empty Vessels - Selections from the Margaret Lawrence Ceramics Collection by David Sequeira

New director, David Sequeira, has cleared all storage boxes to complete this display of what seems like most of the 600 piece Margaret Lawrence collection. Sequeira's curatorial and art practice shows a passion for collection, vessels and arrangements in rainbow colour sequence. Entitled Empty Vessels, each ceramic piece, undulates in a gentle line around the two gallery walls. Sequeira's keen eye had addressed his interests by working with a linear harmony using height and colour balance rather than gradation. See the image below of Sequeira's work in the back wall of the VCA office. Wednesday 12 April - 13 May 2017 Margaret Lawrence Gallery VCA 40 Dodds Street
, Southbank VIC 3006 The two galleries also display a large installation piece recreated from 1994 for Lauren Berkowitz's Bottles. Berkowitz's recycled and beautiful floor cluster is a potent comment on our throw away society. This contrasts wonderfully with precious and linear expanse of Lawrence's cerami…

Dean Smith - Pink Terraces

Dean Smith's solo show exemplifies his mastery of matt crystalline glaze. Look carefully at the seamless additions of fused glass.  I particularly like his vertical, 'pillowy-soft' vessel to show of his sublte glaze palette & crystal patterning. 
 4-22 April 2017
Alcaston Gallery 11 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy,
Melbourne, Victoria, 3065 Australia

The Pink Terrace was once a large and beautiful silica deposit in New Zealand, created by chance and destroyed by chance, possibly by an eruption of Mount Tarawera.A place exists and then doesn’t exist. For this exhibition I have made some slab-built vessels, moving away from the familiarity of the wheel-thrown form as the sole basis for my work. As I build the work my thoughts are around structures, chambers or tombs - permanent structures housing the impermanent/ the permanent structure erased by the forces of nature/beauty and fragility. - Dean Smith, 2017 (from website)

Of everything that disappears there remain traces

Dan Arps
Samantha Barrow
Jeremy Eaton
Kate Hill
Georgia Kaw
Seala Lokollo-Evans
Kate Newby
Charlie Sofo
curated by Lauren Ravi

Friday 7 April - Saturday 29 April 2017

The Honeymoon Suite
L1, 60 Sydney Rd.,  Brunswick, Victoria 3056
I am fascinated by the premise of Lauren Ravi's curated show for Honeymoon Suite. The show is supported by an eloquent essay, parts of which are included at the end of the artwork images. Her training as a conservator stimulated her conceptual idea.When presented with a object for conservation, a conservator must decide what is the 'ideal state' to return an object to. This freezing of a moment in time for the relative material of an object is food for thought. 

Ravi brings together artists whose, ...handling, methods of production, interaction with their environments, and the alchemical processes’ of transformation that a material undergoes,is ...not as pure matter but rather as holding congealed moments in a broader social trajectory that is …