Robin Gibson Gallery

modern + contemporary

Sassy Park

Pottery is my Poetry

24 October – 18 November 2020

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 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.

The famous mosaics of sports women at the Villa Romana del Casale inform 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.

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 by 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 is a recent ceramics masters graduate from the National Art School, Sydney. She is the recipient of the 2020-2021 Onslow Storrier studio residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France and was 2nd prize winner of the 2020 Meroogal Women’s Art Prize. Previous degrees and awards include Bachelor of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts in painting, N.S.W. Travelling scholarship, N.E. Pethebridge Ceramic Award and the Mansfield Ceramics Art and Perception Magazine Award. This year she was a finalist in the Tom Bass Prize for Figurative Sculpture and the inaugural McClelland Small Sculpture Prize in Victoria.
Her work is represented in national public collections including the Powerhouse Museum, Bathurst Regional Gallery and Bendigo Regional Art Gallery.

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