The works in this exhibition were made in the wake and shadow of two personal events that have changed and reshaped my thinking and working.
Firstly, my exhibition Plant Your Feet at the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery over the summer on 2020/23. This exhibition allowed me to look more closely at the place where I still partly live and where I grew up, the Shoalhaven south of Sydney. This involved thinking and researching more deeply about its troubled past and acknowledging the great trauma of colonisation and settlement. A trauma set against a beautiful back drop betwixt mountain and sea.
The second event has been the establishment of a new ceramic studio in Sydney after not having a Sydney studio for over 12 months. The studio is both a machine to make work and second home. The last few months of setting up the space has often seen me resolving the practicalities of studio life: buying a fridge, getting a trap for the sink and making sure the power is fit for purpose.
The electrical experience references both things. The new studio demands power – the kilns need to fire the electricity flowing through the streets and buildings, above and below, drive creativity. Power is contested, discussed, overvalued, expensive but these pots come from it.
The title is also the name of a book by the author Frank Moorhouse who like me attended school in Nowra, and also grew up, in the Shoalhaven. His honesty, experimentation, and willingness to lay bare his familial and emotional life is something any artist should transpire to.
These works are informed by these two things – the inherently practical and the heartbreaking, the mundaneness of leases and forms and the emotions of truth telling and belief.