Portage Ceramics Awards finalist, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery

After spending an intensive summer making a lot of new ceramic works and learning so many new processes and techniques I wanted to create a series of forms which were not too grounded in the traditional methods. I wanted to take the medium and apply it to my current practice in a specific way and to integrate it with the paintings I have been making since arriving in London.


Detail of "Banquet", installation comprised of 45 pieces which was one of the finalists for the 2019 Portage Ceramics Award.

I decided to let the paintings spill over into the clay, to use the same materials and similar processes and integrate the two. I have been using crushed clay and mixing it with paint pigment and binding mediums. I also decided to use materials like spray paint, which I had also been using on my paintings, to imbue the ceramic pieces with a sense of the urban environment that they inhabited and came from. Spray paint is all over the city, as are lurid colours and shiny surfaces. There is also a cacophony of shapes, movement and a vibrancy.








“Banquet” was designed with the intention of delving into the medium, exploring it on my terms and stretching it into my painting practice as much as possible.







The text accompanying the piece reads as follows:


Banquet is about distilling an urban experience into some of it’s sensations and material qualities. Spray paint is something I associate with city life, so I chose to use this to colour some of the banquet elements – the play with artificial surfaces and lurid colour allude to a Marie-Antoinette-style setting, where a table is laden with a glut of colour and form for the eyes – similar to the sensory overload in a bustling urban environment.”


Some components were made of crushed clay mixed with acrylic medium and paint, others were treated in a more conventional way.

This year's Portage Ceramics Award evening, "Banquet" installed at Te Uru Gallery.

The installation is comprised of 45 individual pieces, some glazed, some only bisque-fired, others smothered in spray paint to the point that bubbles formed and crusted on their exterior. Crushed clay was mixed into acrylic medium and spread on strips like coloured melted tar seal.



The sense of this mash up of sensations and textures is what I wanted to articulate. I was extremely grateful to have the opportunity to have my work viewed by Marron Esson, a well-respected Sydndey-based ceramicist and to be shortlisted for the Portage Ceramics Award this year. I also very much look forward to the continuation of this series and to extending the ceramic aspect of my practice in challenging and fresh new directions.


ANNIE SMITS SANDANO

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