Adelaide-based ceramicist Kirsten Coelho works in porcelain, producing reduction fired forms and vessels that fuse the precious and the everyday. Coelho’s forms often reinterpret utilitarian objects and draw from the social histories and material culture of ceramics, glass and metal wares. In their installation, Coelho creates ensembles and groupings of forms that play with shadow, transparency and abstraction. They also act as allegories for ideas of convergence and transformation, reflecting porcelain’s long history of trade and exchange, as well as the movement of people and changing function of everyday objects. Recent works have also explored the surface possibilities caused by the introduction of metal compounds such as iron oxide that create delicate signs of aging on the porcelain forms.
‘The Return’ brings together several new and recent works inspired by Grecian and Roman artefacts and architectural remnants. Coelho’s forms are suggestive of columns, statues and plinths, creating elusive modern ruins. It includes the installation ‘Ithaca’ 2020 inspired by Homer’s epic tale ‘The Odyssey’ (900-700 BC) and the ancient Greek island seen by Odysseus on his return home after a ten-year journey. Alongside this work, ‘Passages’ 2019 considers physical and symbolic changes to ideas of home and material culture abstracted by time and different cultural contexts.