Ceramics: A Hot Topic

An exciting collection of ceramic works will be on-show in the University of Southern Queensland’s Arts Gallery this month.LLarson0812_gy_016

1200 DEGREES OF SEPARATION explores the unique nature of the handmade ceramic as studied by the students of the USQ Visual Arts program.

USQ Lecturer in Ceramics and exhibition curator, Alexis Tacey said, “the exhibition looks at what is currently happening in ceramics at USQ showcasing recent work by students in the first, second and third year of their studies.”

“They will present work based on their current research, ranging from formal/informal dinner settings and wheel thrown functional ware, to origami-style folded porcelain and slip cast porcelain based on forms found in nature.

“All of the work is handmade, positioning it in a unique way when we think of machine made ceramics with little to no apparent nuances, which are very visible in handmade pottery.”

Ceramics are used for a variety of purposes in the industrial world such as insulators for electricity transmission and even by NASA for tiles fixed to the outside of space shuttles.

“The clay used in most of the work we do is transformed from its raw, vulnerable state to a hard, vitrified state by firing the work to about 1200 degrees Celsius. “However, when we think of ceramics as an insulator used on spacecraft, the clay is fired to a much higher temperature.

“One of the newest forms of clay materials included in the exhibition is Keraflex; porcelain sheets as thin as 0.5mm which are translucent and extremely flexible allowing them to be folded, cut, stitched and even woven.”

Ceramics has been taught at the University since the 1970s and, over the past four decades, many different art practices have developed and evolved.

A graduate herself of the USQ Visual Arts program (then DDIAE), Alexis went on to study with Janet Mansfield in Sydney/Gulgong and completed a four year apprenticeship in Japan with Yoshida Yoshihiko.

As Lecturer in Ceramics at USQ, Alexis shares the knowledge gained from these studios, encouraging students to experiment and understand as much as possible the materials, skills and ideas necessary to make meaningful and well resolved ceramic work.

“We encourage students to explore a multitude of processes and techniques in the studio including hand building, wheel throwing, slip casting, wood firing and glaze making to name a few.”
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1200 DEGREES OF SEPARATION will be officially opened on Tuesday 12 February at 5pm and continues until 7 March in the USQ Arts Gallery.

The Gallery is open from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday and admission is free of charge.

Submitted by:
Michelle Fox
USQ Artsworx
Ph 07 4631 1111

 

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