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A Peculiar Annes sculpture in the making..

Whilst it was true that I had a few loose ends to tie up in Sydney last month, the main purpose for my visit was to work with the Peculiar Anne’s (Janet parker-Smith, Cleo gardener and myself) on a new sculptural work for an exhibition at M-contemporary gallery in May.  My focus was to create the ceramic components of the work and I was fortunate enough to be able to use a small, shared studio space at SCA in order to do this. We had decided on a grouping of 2 figures- anthropomorphised and hybrid creatures combining references to both introduced and native Australian species – namely rabbits and foxes, kangaroos and koalas. Fortunately we already had some great rubber moulds of koala and kangaroo claws that we had produced for an installation at Hidden sculpture prize held in Rookwood Cemetery in 2014. This meant that I could press mould these claws fairly easily. That left a fox and rabbit head to model freehand.

Although I have very limited experience with modeling and indeed, ceramics, I really enjoyed creating these heads! They are somewhat anthropomorphized and the fox is a little ambiguous but I was happy with them. After making a set of claws and heads in stoneware, it dawned on me that I ought to have made them out of porcelain so that they had a similar translucent glow to the “Seraph” sculpture we made last year. Its always good to have back ups with ceramics so I proceeded to create the sets of arms and to model 2 more quite different heads in porcelain.

As usual the project took much longer than expected… or is it that I think I have allocated more than enough time so that I then fill my time with lots of other tasks? In any case, the project developed at an agreeable pace with little stress, changing a bit here and there as it developed with weekly meetings to discuss the work in progress. Unfortunately, getting the ceramics fired took a lot longer than anticipated due to serious delays with test kilns not operating properly and the other kilns being full. I did manage to fire all the parts in time to see them the day before I left, then I unloaded the kilns and returned then heads and limbs to our little studio space. At this point I knew there was still a lot to be done but, unfortunately, I was leaving the next morning.

So I was not in Sydney to help put the parts together- which always takes a far bit of time but the other Anne’s have worked hard to complete the sculpture on time for the gallery deadline which was today! The sculpture, titled “Feral”, will be shown at M-contemporary gallery in Woollahra, Sydney as part of a thematic exhibition called ” The mythology of my land” that opens on May 1st this year. I wish I could be there for the opening night! There are lots of wonderful artists that have been selected to make work for this exhibition and I love seeing how a collection of diverse works can address so many aspects of a particular theme. Should be wonderful!

So, whilst I cannot show you our finished work yet … its top secret 99! -here are some images of the work in progress and some studio pics.

studio 2015 4

Peculiar Annes, stoneware claws drying in studio, March 2015

rabbit head 1

Peculiar Annes, Glazed parts in studio, April 2015

kiln 2

Peculiar Annes, Porcelain parts ready in kiln, March 2015

parts in box

Peculiar Annes and Claude Jones, Glazed parts in box, April 2015

kiln 3

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