Shelf Life

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Shelf Life

  • Artist
    Cathy McMichael
  • Dates
    12—30 Jun 2024
  • Gallery Location
    Murrurundi

We are delighted to announce the return of Cathy McMichael to the Michael Reid Clay program.

Following her beautiful showing in the Pour group exhibition curated by Vicki Grima at Michael Reid Northern Beaches last August, McMichael is back with an exquisite new collection of vessels that celebrate the perfect beauty of timeworn imperfection.

Through a skilful and unique approach to ceramics, the artist evokes the nuanced textures of aged and corroded surfaces with gently mottled, worn and variegated patinas that emote elegance, gravitas and grace.

McMichael experiments with rust, oxidation and patination in her glazes, with shadows of dark clays emerging through her work’s tumbled, tarnished, rough-hewn finishes in deep olive greens, mottled mustard, glossy jade and deep rust.

The result is a fabulous interplay between her contemporary sensibilities and an eye for the earthy romanticism and moody historicism of classical artifacts and ancient relics weathered by time.

By playing up the graceful irregularities of the handmade, this collection of pieces forms a perfect complement to Stacey McCall’s new series of quietly sublime, artfully undone still-life paintings, ‘Breathwork’, which is showing concurrently at Michael Reid Murrurundi.

Cathy McMichael’s work is paired with Stacey McCall‘s latest exhibition, Breathwork.

Tow the Line

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Tow the Line

  • Artist
    Jennifer Oh
  • Dates
    29 May—16 Jun 2024
  • Gallery Location
    Murrurundi

Michael Reid Clay is thrilled to welcome Jennifer Oh to our Murrurundi exhibition space with a striking new series of sculptural objects and totemic vessels adorned with ultra-stylish, optically charged graphic motifs.

This exciting solo outing follows the artist’s successful showing in the group exhibition Pour, which was staged at Michael Reid Northern Beaches last August and curated by Vicki Grima.

Born in the Philippines, raised in Australia and now based between Rome and Sydney following a period in London, Oh says her practice is informed by her multiplicity of backgrounds and the various built environments she has encountered on her travels across different states and hemispheres.

Titled Tow The Line, her bold new series of torus-shaped, talismanic sculptures and eye-catching geometric vessels is enlivened by fabulous zigzagging patterns inspired by Op-Art motifs, nautical fashion and the razzle-dazzle camouflage of World War I battleships.

Un/Natural

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Un/Natural

Now on view at Michael Reid Murrurundi, Un/Natural by Elizabeth Lewis is the latest exhibition from our Michael Reid Clay platform and a fabulous expression of the Hunter Valley-born, Sydney-based ceramic artist’s distinctive and exuberant style.

Mixing elegance, verve and a dash of irreverence, the artist aims to conjure up feelings of nostalgia through her ceramics practice. Drawing on craft traditions and motifs from antiquity, her work’s wilder flourishes enliven these touchstones and give mythological narratives a contemporary spin.

Un/Natural is a vibrant collection of sculptural objects and stylised vessels, all alive with voluptuous shapes, playfully off-kilter proportions, hand-pinched impressions, and a palette of intensely pigmented pastels with areas of soft gradation.

Each piece’s mix of writhing, organic elements with classical urn-like structures invites a dynamic interplay between history and modernity, wildness and control, nature and culture, and the balance of malleability and hardness inherent to her medium.

Lewis is an alumnus of Kil.n.it Studios and her work has been exhibited across Australia and internationally. Un/Natural arrives at Murrurundi after her successful showing in Kil.n.it’s group exhibition at Michael Reid Northern Beaches in October 2023.

Jane McKenzie ‘I miss my Melways’

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Jane McKenzie ‘I miss my Melways’

  • Artist
    Jane McKenzie
  • Dates
    29 May—23 Jun 2024
  • Gallery Location
    Northern Beaches

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.

Kaz Davis ‘Senescence’

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Kaz Davis ‘Senescence’

  • Artist
    Kaz Davis
  • Dates
    1—24 May 2024
  • Gallery Location
    Northern Beaches

Kaz Davis lives and works on Bidjigal land (Sydney). She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at College of Fine Arts UNSW (photography) in 1991 and an Advanced Diploma of Fine Arts at Meadowbank TAFE (sculpture) in 2003. Davis has been working with clay since 2014. She has been shortlisted for numerous art prizes including North Queensland Ceramics Awards (2020 & 2022); Meroogal Women’s Art Prize (2020 & 2022); National Emerging Art Prize (2021 & 2022); Little Things Art Prize (2018, 2019 & 2022); Gosford Art Prize (2018); and Woollahra Sculpture Prize (2002). Davis’s work has been in curated exhibitions including Brunswick Street Gallery (Melbourne, 2021), Gallery 152 (York, WA, 2019), and the Salon des Refuses, at SH Ervin Gallery (Sydney, 2003). Her notable awards include an Australia Council grant (2021) to support the development of new work, winning the National Emerging Art Prize in 2022, and receiving a Create NSW grant in 2023. The Journal of Australian Ceramics published a feature article about Davis’ work written by Chloe Wolifson in the April 2024 issue.

This exhibition: ‘Senescence’ refers to the process of growing old, and sometimes is applied more specifically to the biological process of aging. This series of ceramic paintings embodies the processes of aging, weathering, wear and tear that happen due to the forces of natural elements and the passing of time. This body of work culminates from a period of research spanning the past three years. My research process has included the development of a palette of ceramic “paints” in the form of engobes and ceramic watercolours. Building up multiple layers of “paints”, with the addition of glazes, as well as firing the work multiple times, results in complex, evocative surfaces.

The coastal and industrial landscapes where I live and work serve as reference points. For me, weathered industrial surfaces have the same affective resonance as the natural elements of the coastal landscape. Both natural and human-made elements of these environments: weathered patinas on storage tanks, the worn paintwork and rusting steel of shipping containers and freight trucks at Port Botany, seaweed, banksias, and the ever-changing colours of the ocean and sky – all become part of the symphony of textures woven into the layers of these paintings.

This body of work includes pieces hung on the wall, and vessels placed horizontally on shelves – I regard them all as three-dimensional paintings. These paintings investigate the enigmatic qualities of mundane objects that might be considered neglected, broken, and in need of repair. Senescence contemplates the ineluctable ageing process that all beings and materials are subject to and invites us to consider the beauty inherent in impermanence.

Kaz Davis
April 2024

Kaz Davis
Accretion 1, 2023
18.5 x 12 x 11.5 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Accretion 2, 2023
23 x 8.5 x 8.5 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Accretion 3, 2023
17.5 x 11 x 10.5 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Accretion 4, 2024
18 x 9 x 9 cm
$600
Kaz Davis
Accretion 5, 2023
19 x 12.5 x 12.5 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Accretion 6, 2023
16.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 cm
$600
Kaz Davis
Accumulation, 2022
15.5 x 16 x 16 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Atmosphere
20.5 x 20.5 x 5.5
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Averment
20.5 x 20.5 x 5.5
$900
Kaz Davis
Biding, 2022
8 x 9 x 9 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Borderline, 2024
12 x 10 x 10 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Containment 1, 2023
8.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 cm
$250
Kaz Davis
Containment 2, 2023
12.5 x 11.5 x 11.5 cm
$500
Kaz Davis
Containment 3, 2023
10.5 x 12.5 x 12.5 cm
$500
Kaz Davis
Containment 4, 2023
11.5 x 14.5 x 14.5 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Containment 5, 2023
11.5 x 12 x 12 cm
$500
Kaz Davis
Containment 6, 2023
12.5 x 13 x 12.5 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Containment 7, 2023
12 x 12.5 x 12.5 cm
$500
Kaz Davis
Elemental: douse, 2023
13 x 16 x 11 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Elemental: etch, 2023
17 x 15 x 10.5 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Emanation, 2024
9.5 x 9 x 9 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Evanescence, 2022
13.5 x 13 x 13 cm
$600
Kaz Davis
Gloaming
20.5 x 20.5 x 5.5
$900
Kaz Davis
Grille 1
8.5 x 8.5 x 3.5 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Habitat: drumline, 2022
13.5 x 19 x 12 cm
$650
Kaz Davis
Interlude, 2024
20.5 x 20.5 x 5.5
$900
Kaz Davis
Interstitial
8.5 x 8.5 x 3.5 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Permeate
20.5 x 20.5 x 5.5 cm
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Precipitation, 2022
8.5 x 9 x 9
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Recall, 2024
11.5 x 9 x 9 cm
$300
Kaz Davis
Retrospection, 2024
20.5 x 20.5 x 5.5
$900
Kaz Davis
Squall
20.5 x 20.5 x 5.5
SOLD
Kaz Davis
Transition
20.5 x 20.5 x 5.5
$900
Kaz Davis
Void: emptiness, 2022
11 x 21 x 13.5 cm
$800
Kaz Davis
Void: fullness, 2022
16.5 x 18 x 13 cm
SOLD

Cindy Tong ‘Foliole’

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Cindy Tong ‘Foliole’

  • Artist
    Cindy Tong
  • Dates
    17 Apr—5 May 2024
  • Gallery Location
    Murrurundi

Cindy Tong is a ceramic artist based in Sale, Gippsland, drawing inspiration from the intricate patterns of nature. Her diverse body of work explores the delicate details and hidden depths found in natural forms, ranging from foliage to geological structures. This fascination with nature’s nuances is evident as Cindy seamlessly transitions between abstract compositions and her interpretive renderings of Australian flora.

“When you look at a banksia or a gum tree, what do you see? For many, it’s often the iconic flowers, but I find my attention drawn to the intricate details of the leaves. In “Foliole,” I’m proud to unveil a series that celebrates eucalyptus and banksia foliage. This exhibition invites you to discover the mesmerizing patterns that emerge when you take a closer look at natural forms.

Each piece in this collection has been formed on the wheel, and then transformed using techniques such as sgraffito and mishima to mimic the intricate veins and textures of the leaves. The carved and glazed details are complemented by the natural beauty of the clay itself. Through this exploration of form and texture, “Foliole” not only celebrates the beauty of Australian flora but also invites contemplation of the delicate balance between art and nature.”

Fiona Alvarez

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Fiona Alvarez

  • Artist
    Fiona Alvarez
  • Dates
    20 Mar—14 Apr 2024
  • Gallery Location
    Murrurundi

For the next installation from our Michael Reid Clay platform, Fiona Alvarez has produced a vibrant collection of intimately scaled ceramic vessels that will be on show at Michael Reid Murrurundi at the end of this month.

A ceramic artist living and working in Eora/Sydney, Fiona holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and has spent many years working across film, design and community art spaces.

Applying flocking fibre and slipcasting techniques, Alvarez sculpts striking, idiosyncratic forms in miniature and coats them with intense pigments to produce a matte, powdery patina almost reminiscent of Luis Barragán’s desert modernism.

From Yves Klein Blue to Schiaparelli Pink, the vessels’ bold palette is enhanced by their subtly textured finish, forming perfectly petite jewels that light up their surroundings.

To register interest and request a preview of works from the series, please contact colinesoria@michaelreid.com.au

Forest Bathing

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Forest Bathing

Chrystie works on Dharawal Country in a studio between high cliffs and the sea where verdant flora and fauna are a daily inspiration and functional and decorative ceramic pieces fit seamlessly into a slower, more considered pace of life. Chrystie is currently undertaking a Masters of Ceramics at the National Art School, Sydney.

“I have always been interested in how various shades of the same colour can be juxtaposed to tell a story of place, time and memory. With Forest Bathing, I am exploring the reverance I have for the light and textures found in the verdant surroundings of my home and the sense of peace engendered when walking within my local escarpment’s fertile embrace.” – Chrystie Longworth

Catherine Allen ‘Connection’

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Catherine Allen ‘Connection’

  • Artist
    Catherine Allen
  • Dates
    1—23 Dec 2023

“My current body of work explores my love of nature, embedded in me from childhood memories of family bushwalks where Dad taught me how to navigate with maps. I recently went camping in Tjorita – West MacDonnell Ranges, where I felt a deep sense of peace and connection to the spiritually and culturally significant landscape. Each piece in this series is an observation of my time in the beautiful desert landscape & my aim is to take the viewer on a similar journey. My work displays a unique spontaneity when you handle my pieces you can feel the energy and plasticity of the clay. I embrace the imperfections and my mark making is intuitive and gestural. There are three layers to making my pieces, the initial stage of shaping the clay and carving into the slip, then I begin the mark making with water colour underglazes and the last stage is the pencil work.” – Catherine Allen

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