sabbia gallery

Ceramics, Glass + Fibre

Gallery Two   5 - 26 August 2023

Ben Edols & Kathy Elliott – Relate / Animate

Not every exhibition of our work has a story, but this small grouping does. During COVID we lost connection to our work, me more than Ben but I saw this shift towards the end of 2020.

Because we have handskills and can harness our ideas we pushed on. Keeping busy was the order of the day and I think we were content to just have a focus.

What became clear over time was that the work was not meaningful to us, we had lost our way. It wasn’t the first time it had happened but this was unexpected. In late 2021 I listened to a series of podcasts made by Lisa Cahill from the Australian Design Centre and cried with relief when I listened to Jeff Mincham talk about mid life dry spells in a creative life. I was so thankful to hear Jeff talk about his experience with this landscape so openly. It gave me a perspective I needed reminding of. I needed to trace back and find the last time I felt connected to the work.

I found that time and picked up a thread of what I wanted to continue to explore. My other intention was to try and learn something new from each piece. The show is called Relate/Animate because I knew we needed to relate to the work before we could animate the exhibition one piece at a time. Still themes of water , more rocks are coming in , for me they signify the necessary strength we draw on as we face the constant flow of life. The rocks, more than the water draw my attention these days.

I want to acknowledge my thanks to Ted Secombe, Mark Elliot and Julia Davis for helping me untangle thoughts and listening to me as I tried to express how it felt to be caught in that time. Conversations caught at exhibition openings at a time when gatherings were few and far between. Thank you for your kind and wise words.

Thanks are due to Anna Grigson for her patience with us as we pushed back deadline after deadline and finally withdrew from our exhibition commitment. Anna was kind enough to offer us a show and the deadline has been helpful to set the focus once again. As the show draws closer I see the strands we need to follow into the future. Once again we feel the work is doing the talking.

Kathy Elliott, April 2023


As one of the most successful artistic partnerships in Australia, the glass of Ben Edols and Kathy Elliott has received international recognition. Over the last thirty years, they have collaborated on artwork that has inspired many through its beautiful and compelling use of colour, form, pattern and light. They have created some of the finest bodies of glass art both within Australia and overseas in that time.

The artwork of Edols and Elliott has been exhibited worldwide, and has been acquired for some of the leading international public and private art collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Museum of Art and Design in New York, The Toyama Art Museum in Japan, the Corning Glass Museum in New York and the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.