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Museum of Brisbane is collecting ceramics with a new artist-driven clay exhibition

Celebrating 60 years of clay-making in Brisbane, Clay: Collected Ceramics is more than just an exhibition of pots. It will be the museum’s largest artist-sourced display to date, bringing together a wide range of artists.

Museum of Brisbane is collecting ceramics with a new artist-driven clay exhibition

Bonnie Hislop.

This exhibition is putting the spotlight on artists that break the mould (pun intended) of what ceramics can be. Museum of Brisbane Acting CEO Cathy de Silva says the practice of ceramics has formed an integral part of various cultures around the world for centuries as a storage vessel of both traditions and tales.

“As a material, clay can change its form under the hands of its maker – so too can each piece’s very purpose,” says de Silva.

Ceramic artist Kylie Johnson (Paper Boat Press), for example, will quite literally share her lifetime passion for collecting pottery with a selection of pieces that smashes the perception that functional and beautiful are mutually exclusive. Built from Kylie’s extensive private collection, this deeply intimate installation will include an astounding selection of local and international work, hand-picked by the collector throughout her career.

Related: Fantastic Forms opens at Bundanon Art Museum

Steph Woods.

The curated collection will include newly commissioned works from cutting-edge Brisbane ceramic artists such as Bonnie Hislop, Steph Woods, Kenji Uranishi, Jane du Rand and Nicolette Johnson. Bonnie Hislop’s playful and provocative ceramics blend illustration, pot building and sculptural form with a decidedly tongue-in-cheek sense of humour – ‘I want a Pony’ and ‘Welcome to the Party’, for example, are writ large across ornate and colourful pots.

Steph Woods is another breaking new ground with her curvaceous and colourful works. Taking a completely different direction is Kenji Uranishi, whose precisely detailed work is breathtakingly beautiful. Jane du Rand works magic with her mosaics and hand-made tiles, while Nicolette Johnson remains the queen of the organic surface: her ‘Dark Tower’ for Heide MoMA 2019 is sublime.

For those looking for connectivity and history, the exhibition will also feature works by ten renowned makers including Carl McConnell (1926–2003), one of Queensland’s most significant post-war potters as well as Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Milton Moon, Lyndal Moor and Kevin Grealy.

Jody Rallah.

Yuggera, Biri Gubba and Warangu artist-in-residence Jody Rallah will use her handmade coolamons to create a new mural for the exhibition.

Around 300 memory vessels lent by Brisbane’s ceramicist community will greet visitors to the exhibition Commune, marking the museum’s largest artist-sourced display to date. The museum will also take visitors behind the artworks and into the workshop in an exclusively commissioned film that delves into the hidden intimacy of the artist studio.

Museum of Brisbane


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