sabbia gallery

Ceramics, Glass + Fibre


Clare Belfrage, SOLD - Canopy, Deep Green, 2023, blown glass with cane drawing, sandblasted and pumice finished, 440 h x 300 w x 140mm d

Main Gallery   6 - 10 September 2023

SYDNEY CONTEMPORARY – essence . an exhibition of outstanding female artists





Sabbia Gallery is pleased to present essence, an exhibition of outstanding female artists at Sydney Contemporary this year.

This distinctive exhibition curated for Sydney Contemporary 2023 highlights the diversity in the contemporary art fields of ceramics, glass and fibre by senior and emerging artists who each weave their unique cultural background into their artworks. Each artist is united in their relationship to their material, their sense of place and their place within the Australian landscape.

Premier award winning artist Clare Belfrage’s detailed and complex glass drawings on blown glass forms reflect the high-level skill and innovative approach to her craft and her 35 year artistic and exhibiting history makes her one of the country’s most renowned artists in this medium. Inspired by nature and its various rhythms and energies, Clare‘s exquisite sculptural objects express her fine attention to detail, a fascination with pattern and rhythm and deep connection to the natural world. She was the featured artist for the 2018 SALA Festival and celebrated as one of South Australia’s most influential artists working in a craft medium through JamFactory’s Icon series, presenting a solo exhibition, A Measure of Time, for a 3 year national tour.

One of this country’s finest and most highly acclaimed ceramic artists worldwide, Living Treasure Award 2015 recipient, Honorary Doctor for the Arts, Curtin University 2020, Master of Australian Craft and Wynne Prize finalist, Pippin Drysdale’s career as a ceramic artist spans over forty five years. Her passion for the craft merges with a love of the landscape, which has travelled across continents and in most recent years has focussed on the vivid desert landscapes of Australia. Her works evoke a timeless and breath-taking sense of space and place within finely crafted porcelain vessels, narrating the mesmerising vastness of colour experienced in the unique Australian landscape.

Premier First Nations artists Margaret Rarru Garrawurra (2022 Telstra NATSIAA major award recipient) and Helen Ganalmirriwuy Garrawurra share their expertise with their niece Mandy Batjula Gaykamangu, resulting in a collaborative collection of new artworks in fibre by these three women. The rare black fibre which will be used in the artworks for Sydney Contemporary is an innovation of both the Garrawurra sisters, unique to them, and by sharing this knowledge with Gaykamangu it secures the future generation’s knowledge of this artistry.

Hannah Gason is an exciting, highly committed and passionate artist with a growing reputation for her innovative approach to glass. Gason is interested in the subtle changes and rhythms of the every day, such as repeating patterns, contrasting colours and a curiosity of space associated with the interaction of shifting light with architectural and natural forms. She creates unique glass works that contain fluidity and variations of tonal intensity where the composition of carefully arranged pieces suggest a constantly moving, changing surface that plays with flatness and depth. Gason is captivated by glass in how it can capture, reflect and transmit light and throughout her art practice, she has presented a strong sense of material exploration and play with light as she constantly challenges and pushes material in exciting ways.

Senior Australian artist Jessica Loughlin was honoured as the 2022 SALA ICON artist, with a four year travelling exhibition and beautiful monograph. Loughlin is known for her quiet understated approach to kiln formed glass. Her many years of walking through the salt lakes of South Australia and Victoria has given her a profound understanding of light and space. Her artworks prompt a meditative reverie influenced by her fascination with the beauty of emptiness within the natural environment. A series on long wall installations will form Loughlin’s inclusion in this presentation.

South African born Maricelle Olivier is an exciting early career artist whose artworks in ceramics embrace the dramatic and vivid colours of both her mother country and the desert landscape of Australia where she has spent so much time, whilst working at Ernabella in the APY Lands over the last three four years. Olivier’s medium of ceramics provides a link to her personal history and geography. The focal point upon each piece stands as the surface decoration of cross continental interpretations, visually translated onto hand built and wheel thrown forms. Olivier will be creating a spectacular grouping of ceramic forms as a long installation.

essence is a refined and dramatic exhibition of new works by these outstanding female artists, curated so that the viewer will be fully immersed within the space and each artists installation of artworks. The sculptural forms and wall panels will predominantly occupy the walls, with a limited number of pieces sitting within the space, guiding the viewer on a journey through materiality, culture and landscape.