Pottery is my Poetry 
Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney Australia

Pottery is my Poetry plays with ceramics and ideas. The work in this exhibition is inspired by this year's pandemic with its mixed messaging, the domestic setting and a yearning to be elsewhere. The ancient world and ceramic traditions continue to influence my practice and a trip to Sicily at the end of 2019 with its mixture of roman mosaics, baroque churches, and greek ruins has produced associations with the contemporary world.
The famous mosaics of sports women at the Villa Romana del Casale informs the Bikini Girl from the Ancient World with the analogy to our own swimming culture in Australia.Pell in Purgatory was provoked by a Sicilian church facade with nuns placed in burning urns while the statues of priests and saints stood unscathed below. The exuberance of Italian culture is preserved on a series of plates, Message from the mayor, quoting the candid words of Italian mayors broadcast earlier this year, bluntly warning their citizens to stay at home.
The sailor evokes passion for travel and adventure. Little French Sailor represents the longing to be out in the world and particularly in Paris where I was to be on an artist residency.  Leonard and Bill Spill Vase is based on Staffordshire spill vases, used to hold spills (slivers of wood or tightly rolled pieces of paper to pass on flames from the fire), and imagines two musical poets, Leonard Cohen (left) and Bill Callahan (right) standing together below a tree.  Like Staffordshire figure groups made to commemorate stories, events and celebrated characters of their time, Laurie takes Lucky, the school chicken home commemorates the gruesome story of Lucky, as told by New Zealand potter, Laurie Steer on instagram.
Shell souvenirs of swimming at Bondi Beach commemorate the same day passengers with Covid-19 symptoms were disembarked from the Ruby Princess into Sydney.  The plate you & I are Earth made my an anonymous maker in 1661, carries the same message in 2020; a plate of clay and a memento mori for all those who look at it.

Sassy Park 2020

Leonard and Bill Spill Vase 2020
27 x 18 x 9 cm

Bikini Girl of the Ancient World 2020
terracotta with brass stand
34 x 10 x 15 cm

Adam's Shame 2020
terracotta and paint
28 x 10 x 7 cm

Grieving woman in an 
Australian landscape 2020
maiolica and porcelain

19 x 9 x 10 cm

Little French Sailor 2020
22.5 x 10 x 6 cm

Local Sailor 2020
21.5 x 7 x 7 cm

Sailor with hands in pockets 2020
19 x 6.5 x 6 cm

Laurie takes Lucky, the school chicken home 2020
29 x 15 x 10 cm

Pell in Purgatory 2020
ceramic and lustre
24 x 8.5 x 8 cm

Kangaroo centrepiece 2020
maiolica and lustre
20 x 22 x 22 cm

Message from the mayor of Lucera 2020
maiolica and lustre
22 cm diameter

Message from the mayor of Gualdo Tadino 2020

22 cm diameter

Message from the mayor of Bari 2020
maiolica and lustre
22.5 cm diameter

I will only marry a gardener 2020
maiolica and lustre
19.5 cm diameter

I don't want Jesus to love me 2020
maiolica and lustre
18.5 diameter

you & I are Earth 1661-2020 2020
23 cm diameter

Keep 1.5m 2020
26 x 3 cm

Keep Social Distance 2020
26 x 3 cm

In light of current circumstances 2020
26 cm diameter

untitled (Counting the days) 2020  
maiolica thrown
21.5 cm diameter

Bondi Souvenir 2020
10 x 10 x 5 cm

Bondi Swim Souvenir 2020
10 x 10.5 x 5 cm

Ruby Princess Souvenir 2020
9 x 9.5 x 4 cm

Crossroads Hotel Souvenir 2020
9 x 11 x 5 cm

© Sassy Park

photography © Karl Schwerdtfeger