Slip cast recycled clay, raw glazed. Varied dimensions. 2013.
The following images are taken from the site specific installation for the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery (TRAG), featured in the Off the GRID residency exhibition (November 2013).
This body of work is the result of a three-month pilot residency program between TheGRID Hybrid Arts Collective and the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery (TRAG).
The opportunity for me to work with these spaces, and particularly my time with fellow resident and mentor Michael Schlitz, has been a rare and invaluable experience for me as an emerging artist.
This has greatly impacted my approach to creating work, allowing for this piece, Containment, to develop and transform throughout the residency.
As a ceramicist, I often work in multiples to create large-scale installations, forming an alternative environment within the gallery space.
Through my choice of process and materials, I aim to load my work with multiple elements that collectively communicate a concept relating to my own experience and history.
Stemming from my knowledge of where Michael had travelled from (remote Tasmania), I knew at the beginning of the residency that I wanted to create work reflecting his isolated residence.
This lead to a decision on making moulds of recycled timber, and slip casting them with recycled clay; from my past projects primarily using porcelain, this introduced me to a wide range of variables I haven’t worked with before.
The mentorship I have received from Michael alongside consistent feedback from TheGRID and TRAG teams, plus community input from the ‘open studios’ and Work in Progress Exhibition have allowed for Containment to now act as a tool for inviting visitors to explore, in new ways, throughout the various spaces of TRAG.
While being displayed as part of the Atrium Gallery, Containment is highly visible from the staircase, the mezzanine space and the collection room, aiming at opening the gallery to visitors through the act of ‘boarding it off’.
Exposing the back of the work is a means of echoing the nature of the residency, with our studio space being continually open, the public were able to see our process and progress for the past three months. This exposure being alien in comparison to how I have worked before, but quickly became a liberating challenge.
A large portion of Containment was acquired as part of the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery permanent collection.
Photography: Dan Elborne.