Meet Rachel on Saturday 28 September, 10.30-11.30am. All welcome – call 4860 2083 for more information.
Unfinished business has been simmering in my mind for the last 6 years when, in awe and overwhelmed by the awesome Australian bush, my creative fire was set alight during my first residency at Sturt in 2013. I return once more as international resident this year to explore where that might take me. And, 3 months later, here we are.
I am so happy that my Australian creative flame still burns.
My work is known for its expressive, visceral, yet calm and considered vessels, each brought to life with lively, complex surfaces. The unique personal touch of human spirit and physicality with the core material are the foundations of my practical and intellectual ethos. Every fingerprint, tool mark, rip and join, trace the journey of making with clay, just as every footstep in the Australian bush of the Southern Highlands infuses the images and feelings in my head and heart.
The bush is authentic. Raw. It is what it is, and is uncompromising in its unfettered and seemingly chaotic existence. But, beneath the boldness there’s something else going on. Its open display of fragility as nature forces it to shed its layers of protection – fissures, cracks and torn limbs of the eucalypts emerge. Parched and thirsty earth, weathered and worn.
I consider also the human element in this work. We all have cracks, bruises, soft vulnerable places and yet they are partnered with stamina, fortitude and regrowth. And so it is with my ceramics. Cracks, joins and splits (often viewed as potential weaknesses) are encouraged to grow into adventurous, sometimes anarchic, features in the forms. Some are bold and rugged, some are calm and quiet. This area has touched me, as have the people. And that touch I pass on through my fingers into these forms.
Rachel Wood ~