New ceramic works from Living Treasure, Les Blakebrough AM
This exhibition continues my investigation into the aesthetic vocabulary of unglazed porcelain. The coupling of thin cast porcelain sheets with a process of ‘deep etching’, where layers of clay are progressively washed away to create an image, allows me to play with the translucency of the clay.
The kelp bowls are constructed from ribbons of clay that I cut from these same cast sheets. They are inspired by the species name kelp that grows in the deep cold waters off the east coast of Tasmania. A longstanding source of fascination, the kelp forests have taken several years to bring into my orbit of images. Technically exacting, just a few of these bowls have been resolved enough to exhibit.
Having moved from Hobart, Tasmania, a few years ago, I now live and work in the Illawarra, on the east coast of New South Wales, where the escarpment is a brooding force. The raw energy of the Southern Pacific Ocean is another dominating feature of my new landscape. Both of these elements appear in different forms in this work.
The pieces titled ‘Surf’s Up’ are thrown and carved, allowing another way to enhance translucency, with the carving making the wall so much thinner, finer, and translucent. Other thrown bowls in the exhibition are ‘tilted’. The relationship between the symmetry of the curved rim and the angular tilt is a way I have found to extend the established vocabulary of the thrown bowl.
Les Blakebrough, 2014
In the lead up to Les Blakebrough’s solo exhibition A Fine White Line at Sabbia Gallery opening 19 November 2014 he speaks casually with Paul Raffety from his Coledale studio in July 2014. Click the link below: