In September 2008, four Adelaide artists travelled to Jingdezhen in China as part of an international residency supported by the Helpmann Academy for the Visual & Performing Arts. Inspired by their travels and experiences – being immersed in a world of porcelain traditions – the four artists have responded by creating ceramic, mixed media and jewellery works that will be on show during the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
As part of the residency program, artists Prue Gramp, Peter Johnson, Erin Lykos and Sarah Rothe spent six weeks at the Experimental Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen known as the ‘porcelain capital of the world’. During this time, the artists worked closely with local artisans who have developed their skills using knowledge passed down from generation to generation over the past 1700 years.
The exhibition – titled Invisible Red Threads – will not only feature work by these four Adelaide ceramicists, but will also include the work of four Chinese artists from the Experimental Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen; Derek Au, Shen Chen Chen, Wang Hao and Yu Ling Ling.
“The Jingdezchen residency provided a profound experience of Chinese culture, creating for me the opportunity to discover the abundance and diversity of clay practice,” says Peter Johnson, ceramic artist and lecturer at TAFE SA’s Adelaide College of the Arts. “On visits to the local markets, row after row of ceramic shards from the Tang, Ming and Sung dynasties, interwoven with fake copies, presented an astonishing array of ceramic styles depicting Chinese stories and decorative motifs. From this reference point, contemplating and imagining the story behind these shards reaching back over the dynasties, I began to generate ideas.”
Invisible Red Threads has been supported by the Helpmann Academy.
The Helpmann Academy for the Visual & Performing Arts assists emerging artists to make the leap into professional practice, by providing a range of programs and opportunities including exhibitions, awards, grants, mentorships and international exchanges. The Academy’s partners are TafeSA – the Adelaide College of the Arts and Vizarts O’Halloran Hill; University of South Australia – South Australian School of Art; University of Adelaide – Elder Conservatorium; Flinders University – Flinders Drama & Flinders Screen Production; Adelaide Central School of Art.
Where: Light Square Gallery
39 Light Square, Adelaide
When: Wednesday February 17 – Thursday March 11
For more information head to www.helpmannacademy.com.au