12 OCTOBER - 3 NOVEMBER, SUBIACO. Official Opening 6-8pm Wednesday 16 October.
‘Pippin Drysdale’s ensembles are quite literally a landscape in their aesthetic manifestation. Each of her forms lightly touches the ground and the whole array of objects undulates into peaks and valleys over which the eyes can clamber.’*
For 45 years Pippin Drysdale’s ordered studio in Fremantle, Western Australia, has witnessed the creation of exquisite landscapes ‘in the round’, made on her porcelain vessels, marbles or platters, each of which is the result of her endless and focused experimentation with colour, line and shape, applied in her unique fashion to the ceramic sculptures she creates. [Click HERE
to view Pippin in her studio - no sound]
Drysdale’s response to the ancient and compelling Australian landscapes is captured on the interiors and exteriors of her works: marbles with finely incised and coloured lines or lustre crackle glazes that echo the stratified rock formations, vessels with interiors of intense colour that are hypnotic and breathtaking, perfectly describing mood, time, emotion or memory.
Kimberley Series 2019
is a collection of porcelain marbles and vessels assembled into installations that trace the immense grandeur of the outback, evoke the ‘critters’ (Echidna Chasm), pastoral properties (Fossil Downs, Evensong), and especially the connection of the traditional owners to place (Wandering Spirits).
‘I am unrestrained in my liberal use of glazes for my surface decoration’ says Drysdale. ‘It is like painting a three dimensional canvas, laying down colour upon colour, gold upon platinum, platinum upon gold. Each object may be fired up to three or four times, with new layers of glaze applied and burnished between firing. It is only when each individual piece is fully realized that I can consider the topography of form, scale and colour that informs the selections I make for my installations. Finally, you never know what the kiln will reveal, but that is the pure joy of it.’
A Living Treasure and Master of Australian Craft, her works are avidly sought by museums and astute collectors alike. The Duke of Devonshire has acquired significant works by Drysdale for the Chatsworth Collection, and she is represented in over 60 public and corporate collections around the world. Later this year, Curtin University will award her an honorary doctorate for the arts. Drysdale has held over 50 solo exhibitions in Australia and internationally, including in Paris, Osaka, Boston, Brussels and London. Currently she has works on exhibition at Sotheby’s in New York.
Drysdale’s porcelain sculpture installations bring a change of pace to their environment, a different texture and freshness to the spaces they inhabit. A gritty backdrop will contrast as harmoniously with the smooth porcelain surfaces of the vessels and marbles as will an ornate Louis XVI burnished table. Individually and collectively, their presence is assured and rewarding. The sum of the whole is unquestionably made up of exquisite individual parts.
*Glenn Barkley and Lesley Harding in Heide Museum catalogue An Idea Needing to be Made: Contemporary Ceramics 2019.