Canberra’s Unique Ceramic Experience!

The creativity of ceramics will soon be celebrated in Canberra across four days in July, when the capital hosts the prestigious Australian Ceramics Triennale.  For Canberrans and visitors alike, this is a unique (and wonderful) opportunity to see the works of some of Australia’s best ceramicists as well as many from around the world. More than 35 free public exhibitions will take place across the city in Stepping Up, the name of the 2015 Triennale (9 to 11 July). By Wendy Johnson

Stunning ceramic bowl by Johanna DeMaine

Stunning ceramic bowl with precious metals by Johanna DeMaine

Avi Amesbury, CEO/Artistic Director at Craft ACT—herself a ceramicist—says this is Australia’s premier ceramics event and the last time Canberra hosted it was in the 1980s. Although the conference component of the Triennale is an opportunity for high-end ceramicists to get serious about expanding their skills and ideas, through presentations, panel discussions and workshops, the Triennale offers a great deal for the public.

Much of Trenna Langdon's work explores the colours and texture of the Canberra region

Much of Trenna Langdon’s work explores the colours and texture of the Canberra region

Beyond the free exhibitions, Stepping Up will culminate in a one-day Market Place at the National Gallery of Australia (12 July) where 30 high-end ceramic artists will be on hand to talk passionately about and sell their beautifully made work. This is a great opportunity to meet the artists and explore their thinking, plus, it’s free entry, and everyday tableware, household items and vessels will be for sale, as will jewellery and many one-off collector’s items.

Ceramic jewellery by Mollie Bosworth

Ceramic jewellery by Mollie Bosworth

“The diversity of work across the free exhibitions and at the Market Place is exciting and fascinating,” says Avi. “It showcases the many ways pieces are built and fired, including slip casting, thrown, hand built, wood fired and even soda fired. It also includes the many ways pieces are treated on the surface, such as with printing, motifs, decals and hand carved.”

A highlight for the public is the Stepping Up—Delegates Exhibition, which will feature the work of the international delegates who will attend the conference all in one place. It will be held at the ANU School of Art Gallery, offering a chance-of-a-lifetime opportunity to see works by ceramicists from Canada, France, India, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and United States.

Pleated bowls with batik texture by Jo Wood

Pleated bowls with batik texture by Jo Wood

Each state and territory will be bringing a show to Canberra. Other exhibitions will be held in galleries such as Bilk Gallery, Beaver Galleries, Canberra Museum and Gallery, Craft ACT, M16 Artspace, Nishi Gallery and Drill Hall Gallery.

Pop up exhibitions will also be held, including throughout Braddon. Most retailers in the Ori Building, for example, will showcase the work of an individual artist, such as the Assemblage Project with ceramic dolls by Gemma Bonshek Kane. Most of the exhibitions will be held during the Triennale, but will start before and some will continue after, so check out what is being exhibited now.

Cathy Franzi's work reflects images of Australian fauna

Cathy Franzi’s work reflects images of Australian fauna

Avi says it’s not just the large number of artists at the Market Place that makes the day so exciting. It’s who the artists are. “Local ceramicists will be celebrated as will other big names such as Janet DeBoos, Johanna DeMaine and Mollie Bosworth,” says Avi. “But this is also a fabulous chance for Canberrans and visitors to see the work of artists who have never exhibited in the capital before.”

Stepping Up is managed by Craft ACT, in partnership with the Australian Ceramic Society, Canberra Potters’ Society, Strathnairn Arts and Australian National University.

Domestic stoneware and porcelain by Chris Harford

Domestic stoneware and porcelain by Chris Harford

The free Market Place will be held Sunday 12 July, 11am to 4pm, National Gallery of Australia’s Gandel Hall. The NGA will be offering two free guided tours of the Australian Decorative Arts at 12 pm and 2 pm. This is an exhibition definitely not to be missed!

The 35 free exhibitions vary in dates and times and you can check them out here:

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