Originally from Mildura, Penny Byrne is one of Australia's most radical contemporary ceramacists. Often tackling current events and issues like the environment and politics in her current work, Byrne began her career as a ceramics restorer and conservator. The Four Horsemen of the 21st Century Apocalypse (Water Scarcity, Peak Oil, Food Shortages, Over population)
was originally shown at a solo exhibition at Sullivan+Strumpf in Sydney, which also represents the artist.The Shepparton Art Gallery
houses one of the finest collections of Australian studio and commercial ceramics in the country, representing all of the major developments in Australian ceramic history. The ceramics collection contains over 3,000 pieces and includes significant works by the first convict potters through to commercial potteries and individual studio potters.
Australia's leading contemporary ceramicists are represented in the collection, including Stephen Benwell, Deborah Halpern, Gwynn Hansen-Piggott, Neville French, Dr Gloria Fletcher Thanakupi, Julie Bartholomew and Prue Venables to name a few. Highlights of the collection include Delinquent Angel
(1961) by John Perceval; Spruce Ginger Beer Bottle
(c.1830) by Jonothan Leak; The Lovers' Platter
(c.1958) by Arthur Boyd and their most recent acquisition The Four Horsemen of the 21st Century Apocalypse (Water Scarcity, Peak Oil, Food Shortages, Over population)
by Penny Byrne (pictured).
The Shepparton Art Gallery will be closed for a $1.52 million re-development in 2011 and will re-open later in the year. The permanent exhibition of ceramics which chronicles the history of Australian ceramics can still be viewed in the upstairs foyer of the building. Follow the progress online at the gallery website