Jane McKenzie

Jane McKenzie’s art practice has evolved from a life-long preoccupation with making art and a parallel architectural career. She completed a Masters of Fine Arts (Ceramics) at the National Art School in 2018. Clay is McKenzie’s favourite medium; she mostly makes ceramic sculptures inspired by architecture, her art practice also encompasses drawing, painting and printmaking. McKenzie’s work has been included in exhibitions across Australia and bought by collectors internationally. She won the Muswellbrook Art Prize (Ceramics) in 2015 and was a finalist in the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize in 2019 and the Omnia Art Prize in 2023. She has undertaken residencies at the Fremantle Arts Centre and the Bendigo Pottery.

This exhibition comprises two series of sculptures, both of which were loosely inspired by the built environment. The ‘White’ series pays deference to the fluted white columns of classical architecture, McKenzie applies this aesthetic to more contemporary forms that challenge the structural capabilities of clay. The ‘Melways’ series is a chance for the artist to explore the potential for using a much broader palette of colours and finishes in her forms. Utilising the natural colour of the clay in combination with mat underglazes, glossy glazes and metallic gold leaf. The application of the underglazes references the colourful grids that used to typify street directories, before maps on our phones made these largely obsolete. The patterns are also designed to complement one another when one or more sculptures are placed together. The colours are joyful and the reference to old street directories is nostalgic. 

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