Combining techniques such as carving, inlay, resist, under-glaze and enamel hand-painting, and layering these with found objects onto slip-cast forms, the resulting body of work quilts together all of these threads to provide a rich layered image of Australia. This layering of imagery becomes a metaphorical representation of Australia’s cultural and environmental growth.
Like an arboretum, the work brings together a variety of Australian plant imagery, cultivated for scientific, educational, and ornamental purposes. This quilt-like tying together of the diverse themes and techniques found in the work, reiterates the notion that my interpretation of the Australian environment is built up of an amalgamation of history, imagery and experience.
Located in a domestic sphere, the pieces demonstrate how ceramics can hold more value than just a utilitarian function, becoming instead ‘vessels’ of memory, double meaning and ornament. The desire to collect, document and display has been explored as an inherent way to gain understanding of our relationships between both our environments and ourselves.
Sarah O’Sullivan, 2013