Culture Victoria

Don't stop talking

By Shepparton Art Museum Posted Under Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award

By Alexandra Standen


Well here we are on the other side of an intense and exciting six months of producing work for the Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award (ACA). The time has flown, as usually, faster than I could have though possible.


Talking at the forum


Having left Shepparton on Sunday 22nd October I am now sitting in a sunny spot in a quiet corner of a friends house in Melbourne and reflecting on what an amazing experience it was to exhibit with Michal Fargo and Kirsten Coelho.


I have to say one of the most exciting things was seeing Michal and Kirsten unpack their beautiful ceramic pieces on the first day of install. I felt so privileged to be in an exhibition with these two accomplished artists.


Over the week we spent installing we all talked a lot about this opportunity and the sensations of our own practice. This talking and understanding became a very significance part of the exhibition for me so it was great to take part in the workshops and presentations that took place before and after the opening night.


Ok, it was very nerve racking to stand in front of a group of people and discuses my work and intentions but both Rhonda and Angie, the public programs coordinators, did an excellent job at putting together the program and reassuring all of us that it would be ok. And you know what? It was.


The first thing was the workshop on the Friday morning. This was the first time I had run any kind of workshop about my own work. My hands were clammy with nervousness and I didn’t think I had anything to teach the lovely group of people but this was of course just initial nervous energy and it wasn’t long before I began to discuss my work with ease.


The great group who came to the forum


Unfortunately I couldn’t attend Kirsten’s demonstration in the morning but it was great to see Michal’s class and hear more about her processes. The workshops were great fun and a really gentle way to prepare for the presentations and forum discussions on the Saturday morning.


Although I was anxious about talking in front of so many people, I discovered it's not until you try to explain yourself that you understand just how much you have thought about your project. I knew all along what to say because I had been living with these ideas and processes for such a long time.


Saturday’s forum and presentations was a great opportunity to listen and contribute to discussions about contemporary ceramics. After such a busy and concentrated week of install and the exciting opening night, it was really nice hear from Australian artists like Jeff Mincham and Kris Coad and discuss the direction of ceramic artists both in Australia and overseas.


Looking back at last weekend I know I have taken a lot from this experience. The chance to exhibit with Shepparton Art Museum and the wonderful friendships I formed with all involved in producing such a striking show is something I will never forget.


The amount of detail and care that went into involving the art and ceramic community was brilliant and the promotion of not only the art works in the show but also the wonderful activity that Shepparton offers was incredible.

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