Harlinah Teoh is an emerging artist who builds botanical ceramic vessels inspired by the plants she encounters while walking in wild places. She grew up in New South Wales and the Northern Territory surrounded by potters and other artists, and has strong memories of digging clay and building a wood-fired kiln. She studied Japanese at university and lived in Tokyo and Singapore before settling in Naarm/Melbourne. After reconnecting with ceramics in 2019, she shifted to full-time studio practice in 2022. Her work is held in private collections in Australia, the United States and Europe. Teoh began exhibiting in 2023, participating in group exhibitions at Brunswick Street Gallery,Gallery Lowe and Lee, and Michael Reid Northern Beaches. Her first solo exhibition will open at Glen Eira City Gallery in August 2023.
“My botanical ceramic vessels are a meditation on walking, observation and creation. My work draws on my childhood living in bush, rainforest and mangrove country and a lifelong interest in mythology and folk art. Today I continue to be inspired by plants as I walk new paths and reflect on themes of ecological interconnection and adaptation. I handbuild stoneware vessels, embracing slow construction and simple forms. Rich surface detail is created through the addition and subtraction of layers using slips, underglaze, carving and sgraffito. For POUR, I have created three stoneware carafes featuring cascading Australian flora observed on my walks: Purple Apple-Berry (Tasmania), Pink-Flowering Ironbark (Victoria) and Wonga-Wonga Vine (Northern Territory). Stems, leaves, buds, flowers and fruit flow from the rim of each vessel in an expression of grace and abundance.”