Presented by JamFactory
Reviewed 31 July 2015
Since 2013, JamFactory has held solo exhibitions annually throughout the SALA festival, celebrating South Australia’s talented and influential craft and design practitioners. This year’s exhibit features internationally renowned Giles Bettison’s contemporary murrine glass works, along with the beautifully hand crafted ceramics of Ulrica Trulsson.
When you first enter Gallery One, Giles Bettison’s pieces appear almost to be multi-coloured woven objects, and in a way they are. His interest in traditional hand woven strip textiles from Africa is represented through his use of warm colours and shapes, jumping in and out of arrangement to create visually exciting abstract patterns. This is often combined with the choice of round-bottomed forms to create an object that looks remarkably like an intricately woven African basket. Some other pieces seem to take on the character of organic forms, such as Vista 15 #1 which holds the shape of a butternut pumpkin, whilst others incorporate jagged outlines that look like colourful corals. Up close, the fine detail of the layered glasswork gives a strong idea of the timely and detailed process Bettison used to create such complex and colourful opaque works. For Australian viewers the African style of tiny stripes and spots of warm and natural reds, yellows and blacks may seem reminiscent of Aboriginal paintings.
Further along, Bettison’s works change drastically with colour deserting his palette. Instead of crafting layered colourful, contrasting patterns, Bettison creates large areas of transparent glass encasing delicate and detailed lace-like patterns. These works are much more structured in their design than those earlier encountered, with tiny white images of flowers and other repeated motifs creating the appearance of a symmetrical piece of lacework suspended in mid-air. These glassworks are truly beautiful and draw the viewer into their tiny, seemingly impossible handcrafted details.
Around the corner in Gallery Two, Swedish born Ulrica Trulsson’s handcrafted pottery pieces look as though they’ve been moulded by the earth itself. Trulsson cleverly combines the practicality of functional canisters, bowls and vases with an uncomplicated natural beauty. The exhibit presents works in a variety of colours and features ranging from white, clean-lined minimalist canisters to jugs that look like they have been carved from granular rock. The colours, when used, are understated and earthy, and represent Trulsson’s interpretation of sedimentary rock. Her pieces are simple, yet they have no need to be anything more, as their clean contemporary designs stand strong, both alone and in composition with others. In capturing the basic raw beauty of natural elements of earth and stone, Trulsson has turned basic homeware objects into artistic beauties that would transform anyone’s home into a gallery.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Your Twitter: @Georgie_xox
Venue: JamFactory, 19 Morphett Street, Adelaide
Season: 17 July – 19 September