Avital Sheffer


Avital Sheffer

Cantaro VII 31×18×11cm ceramic

My work is informed by an investigation of my Middle Eastern and Jewish heritage and an ongoing engagement with the landscape, architecture, languages and wisdom of that part of the world, and that way of being in the world. The world of antiquity, in its diversities and dichotomies, is a passion and an infinite source of inspiration. Ancient ceramics, glass, metal ware and calligraphy employ universal aesthetic principals yet reveal intimate aspects of human idiosyncrasies and needs that are relevant to the present. I am interested in the frayed edges of religions and mythologies, where dialogue and cross-fertilization with other cultures takes place. Personal experiences of conflict, migration, dislocation and renewal intersect with the dilemmas between traditions and modernity.

I am challenged and fascinated by the materiality and discipline of clay, and the mysterious unpredictability of its nature. The act of making is a constant negotiation between creating a new entity and uncovering that which already exists, hidden within the folds of the material, governed by elemental principles. Through these slow processes, I Endeavour to reveal forms and surfaces that evoke a sense of history, while carrying narratives that transcend the temporal.


Born 1954, arrived in Australia 1990, Member of the International Academy of Ceramics

2004 Diploma in Ceramics, Lismore TAFE NSW
1989 Diploma in Classical Homoeopathy – Israel

Solo Exhibitions
2016 Terra Entera Robin Gibson Gallery
2015 Intimate Distance – Stephanie Hoppen Gallery, London
2015 Lines of Descent – Anthea Polson Art, Main Beach, QLD
2014 Terra Oculta – Stephanie Hoppen Gallery, London
2014 Embodied – Grafton Regional Gallery
2014 Beneath My Feet – Lasting Impressions Gallery, Kenilworth
2014 Edge of Memory – Beaver Galleries, Canberra
2013 Confluence – Anthea Polson Art, Main Beach, QLD
2012 TerraForma – Gadfly Gallery, Perth
2012 Life of Form – Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney
2011 New Ceramic Sculptures – Beaux Arts Bath, Bath UK
2011 Terra Memoria – Mossgreen Gallery, Melbourne
2011 Mother Tongues – Beaver Galleries, Canberra
2010 Peregrinations – Gadfly Gallery, Perth, WA
2010 Continuum – Anthea Polson Art, Main Beach, QLD
2009 Origins – Mossgreen Gallery, Melbourne
2009 Deep Earth – Touring exhibition to Regional Galleries Nationally 2009/10
2009 Terra Anima – Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney
2008 Terra Intima – Beaver Galleries, Canberra
2008 Avital Sheffer; New Work – Thomas R. Riley – Cleveland, Ohio, USA
2007 Avital Sheffer: New Work – Salmon Galleries, Sydney
2007 New Work – Jane Sauer Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
2006 Unearthed II – Salmon Galleries, Sydney
2006 New Work – Lismore Regional Gallery
2005 Unearthed I – Beaver Galleries, Canberra 2004 Under the Dome -Tweed River Regional Art Gallery
2005 Avital Sheffer & Margaurite Josephson – Mura Clay Gallery, Sydney

Selected invitational and group exhibitions
2015 SOFA Chicago – Presented by Tansey Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM USA
2015 Well Red – Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney
2015 Unconventional Con’form’ity, Tansey Contemporary, Santa-Fe NM USA
2015 Choice, Beaver Gallery, Canberra
2014 The Object Devine – Lauraine Diggings Gallery, Melbourne
2014 Quiet Conversations – Skepsi on Swanson, Melbourne
2014 Australian Ceramics – Mossgreen Gallery, Melbourne
2012 Ceramics Now – Bucharest, Romania
2012 Enduring Forms – Aptos Cruz Gallery, Adelaide
2012 Art Platform, Los Angeles – Presented by Gaffer Gallery, Hong Kong
2012 Sculpture 24 – Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney
2012 Byron Bay Writers Festival Sculpture Show
2011 The 60th Blake Touring Exhibition 2011/12
2011 Art London – Presented by Beaux Arts Bath, UK
2011 Fairytales in Fairyland – Grafton Regional Gallery
2011 Sculpture 23 – Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney
2011 The New York Arts of Pacific Asia Show –Presented by Cavin Morris Gallery NY
2011 30 to Collect – ArtHouse Gallery, Sydney
2011 Confined Excitement – Pleasures of the Void– Cavin-Morris Gallery, New-York
2010 Time+Place – Cudgegong Gallery, Gulgong NSW
2010 Art Event – Jewish Museum of Australia – NVG International, Melbourne
2010 Down Memory Lane – Framed Gallery, Darwin
2010 9th Festival in Ceramics – Demonstrators Exhibition – University of Ballarat Post Office Gallery
2010 The Space Between – Aptos Cruz Gallery, Adelaide
2010 International Academy of Ceramics Members Exhibition – Cite de la Ceramique, Sevres, France
2010 On Paper, in time and in others’ minds – Art Piece Gallery, Mullumbimby NSW
2010 Sculpture 22 – Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney
2009 The 58th Touring Blake Prize Exhibition 2009/10
2009 Egyptian Treasures: Arts of the Pharaohs – The Australian Museum, Sydney
2009 Friends of Bezalel Art Exhibition – Arthouse Hotel, Sydney
2009 Heated Words – Fusions Gallery, Brisbane
2009 White Heat – The Australian Ceramics Association’s Biennial Exhibition, Manly Art Gallery & Museum
2009 Sculpture 21 – Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney
2009 Brisbane Grammar School Art Show
2009 NCECA Special Exhibition: Clay – Cervini Hass Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
2009 FEHVA Art Exhibition & Auction
2009 Here/Now – Mossgreen Gallery, Melbourne
2009 Our Most Easterly Edge – Fusions Gallery, Brisbane
2009 Palm Beach 3, Presented by Thomas Riley galleries, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
2008 SOFA Chicago – Presented by Thomas Riley galleries, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
2008 Sculpture 20 – Robin Gibson Gallery, Sydney
2008 Ceramicos – Waywood gallery, Byron Bay
2008 Palm Beach 3, Presented by Thomas Riley Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
2008 COLLECT- Victoria & Albert Museum, London, GB, Presented by Raglan Gallery, Sydney
2008 FEHVA Art Exhibition & Auction
2007 Palm Beach 3 – Presented by Thomas Riley galleries, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
2007 Art London – Presented by Raglan Gallery, Sydney
2007 SOFA Chicago, Presented by Thomas Riley galleries, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
2007 FEHVA Art Exhibition & Auction
2006 SOFA New York, USA – Presented by Jane Sauer Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
2006 SOFA Chicago, USA – Presented by Beaver Galleries
2006 Chrysalis – Lismore Regional Art Gallery
2006 ConVerge – Victor Mace Fine Art Gallery, Brisbane and touring to Regional Galleries to 2008
2006 Hand Made – J. Johnson Gallery, Jacksonville Beach, Florida, USA FEHVA Art Exhibition & Auction
2005 SOFA Chicago – Presented by Beaver Galleries
2005 FEHVA Art Exhibition & Auction
2004 Fusions Graduate Award Exhibition, Brisbane
2004 Gold-Coast International Ceramic Award
2004 Graduating Students Award Exhibition – Inner City Clayworks Sydney

Competitions, Awards, Residencies
2014 Awarded – Australia Council for the Arts, Skills and Arts Development grant, Barcelona studio
2012 Gold-Coast International Ceramics Award
2012 The Wilson Visual Arts Award
2012 Winner – Byron Arts Classic, first prize for sculpture
2012 Stanthorpe Art Festival
2011 Artist in residence – The Israel Museum, Archaeology wing, Jerusalem
2011 The Blake Prize
2011 Manning Art Prize
2011 Highly commended – Muswellbrook Open Art Prize
2011 Travelling Scholarship Prize – Noosa Regional Gallery
2011 Prometheus Visual Arts Award
2011 Burnie Print Prize
2010 Ergon Energy CQ Ceramic Award
2010 Artist residency – SODA Fremantle WA
2010 Acquisition Award – Stanthorpe Art Festival
2009 Elected for membership of the International Academy of Ceramics – Geneva The Blake Prize
2009 Manning Art Prize
2009 The IV International Biennial of Ceramics, Talavera de la Reina, Toledo, Spain
2009 Prometheus Visual Arts Award
2009 Highly commended – Muswellbrook Open Art Prize
2009 Burnie Print Prize
2008 Winner – Border Art Prize
2008 Awarded – Australia Council for the Arts, New Work grant (established artists)
2008 The Sidney Myer International Ceramic Award
2006 Awarded – Australia Council for the Arts, New Work grant (emerging artists)
2006 Gold-Coast International Ceramic Award
2005 Honorary mention, The 3rd International Competition, World Ceramic Biennale, Korea
2005 Awarded – The Josephine Ulrich Award for Excellence, Gold-Coast International Ceramic Award
2004 Gold-Coast International Ceramic Award
2003 Gold-Coast International Ceramic Award

National Gallery of Australia
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
Jewish Museum of Australia
Atelier d’Art de France, Paris
Manly Art Gallery and Museum
Bendigo Art Gallery
Art Gallery of Ballarat
Southern Downs Regional Art collection, Stanthorpe
Gold Coast City Art gallery
Shepparton Art Gallery
Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie
Tweed River Art Gallery
Grafton Regional Gallery
Ceramics Victoria Permanent Collection
Brisbane Grammar School Art Collection
The Russell Berrie Foundation, USA
The Charles Bronfman collection, USA
Various corporate and private collections Australia, USA, UK

Selected publications
Subversive Ceramics (Bloomsbury publication) by Claudia Clare
American Art Collector issue 116 June 2015 – Unconventional Conformity – Exhibition Review by Rochelle Belsito
The Canberra Times, 5 April 2014 Vessels carry elegant interplay of culture, language and form by Peter Haynes
500 Prints On Clay juried by Paul Andrew Wandless, Lark Crafts publication 2013
Ceramics Now no.2/2013 Profile.
Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum 17 March 2012, Open Gallery – Life of Form by Lynne Dwyer
The Pot Book (Phaidon publication) by Edmund de Waal and Claudia Clare
The Blake Book – Art, Religion and Spirituality in Australia by Rosemary Crumlin
Ceramic Review issue 253 – Excavating Language: Avital Sheffer, Beaux Arts Bath Exhibition Review, by Claudia Clare
Ceramics Monthly, June July August 2011, Exposure
Australian Yoga Journal Issue 11 2011 – Creative release, by Sascha wyness
The Canberra Times 17 Feb 2011 – Fusing Form and decoration, exhibition review by Kerry-Anne Cousins
Ceramics Art and Perception issue no. 80, 2010 – Of the Temporal and the Spiritual, Works By Avital Sheffer, by Inga Walton
Ceramic Review, UK issue no. 243, 2010 – Deep Earth – A present past/ a continuous present, by Louise Martin Chew
The Age 12/11/2009 Visual Art by Dylan Rainforth
Ceramic Review issue 240, Gallery review
The Australian Jewish News 10 November 2009 Exhibition review, by Dalia Sable
The Journal of Australian Ceramics, issue no. 48#2 2009 – White Heat: The Australian Ceramics Association Biennial exhibition Ceramics Monthly October 2009 – exhibitions: Avital Sheffer
The Journal of Australian Ceramics, issue no. 48#1 2009 – Avital Sheffer Body of work, by Ann McMahon
Craft Arts International, issue no. 72, 2008 – New works by Avital Sheffer, by Pollyanna Sutton
Art London 2007 catalogue
Ceramics Art and Perception, issue no. 67, 2007 – ConVerge: The Strength of a Region, by Grace Cochrane
SOFA Chicago 2006 catalogue
Craft Arts International, issue no. 66, 2006 – 24th Gold Coast International ceramic award, by Gordon Foulds
ConVerge Catalogue, 2006 – Northern Rivers Touring Ceramic Exhibition
Chrysalis Catalogue, 2006 – The Emergence of Northern Rivers Artists, by Louise Martin Chew
Craft Arts International, issue no. 64, 2005 – Tradition to Modernity, by Gordon Foulds
Ceramics Art and Perception – issue no. 60, 2005 – New Vessels, ancient Voices, by Steven Giese
The Journal of Australian Ceramics 43#2 2004 – images
The Journal of Australian Ceramics 43#3 2004 – images

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