28 September – 2 December 2018
28 September – 2 December 2018
The John Curtin Gallery brings together the ceramic artworks of Pippin Drysdale and Warrick Palmateer for the first time in an exclusive joint exhibition that explores their unique collaboration and showcases exciting new work from each artist.
These significant new bodies of work, created especially for this exhibition, contrast each artist’s own distinctive passion for different aspects of Australia’s natural environment and their decades long obsession with perfection.
Pippin Drysdale is widely considered one of Australia’s foremost ceramic artists and was formally recognised as one of Western Australia’s State Living Treasures in 2015. Over a career spanning four decades, Drysdale has developed a significant international reputation for her distinctive vessels, drawing inspiration in recent decades from the ancient landscapes of Australia’s interior desert country.
She regularly exhibits internationally and her work is held in major private and public collections across Australia and throughout the world. Her latest ceramic forms include suites of Devil’s Marbles, inspired by the striking rock formations in the Karlu Karlu / Devil’s Marbles Conservation Reserve,a significant Aboriginal sacred site in Australia’s central Northern Territory.The porcelain forms that constitute Drysdale’s installations engage with a fresh, comprehensive and daring colour palette that evokes surreal and ‘magical’ desert light effects. This series also highlights Drysdale’s shift from displays of single pots to installations of groups of vessels.
Warrick Palmateer has been a practicing potter for over thirty years. He has been collaborating with Pippin Drysdale for the past twenty-five years during which time he became increasingly responsible for the manual production of Drysdale’s open and closed forms, all thrown on the wheel in her Fremantle studio. While they have consistently collaborated through this special partnership, Palmateer has also steadily cultivated his own distinctive arts practice.
Palmateer’s most recent body of work, produced exclusively for Confluence, is an assembly of vessels, gargantuan in scale and boldly visceral in their physical presence and material relationship to the artist’s coastal home north of Perth. Working in partnership with a local industrial brick maker, Palmateer’s pots are formed on such unprecedented scale, they required some of Australia’s largest brick kilns to fully realise the artist’s ambitions. Celebrating the liminal coastal spaces so inspiring to him, Palmateer’s work challenges one’s conceptions of the vessel through their sheer scale and ambitious technique.
Drysdale and Palmateer have also collaborated with highly respected Western Australian photographer Robert Frith, who has been documenting Drysdale’s vessels for over twenty years. Frith is also contributing to Confluence with images of the Devils Marbles and Meridian Arc. Frith, Bettinaglio and Burge are a significant part of the exhibition.
Warrick’s natural inclination is to assist others so collaboration has become an integral part of his artistic practice.
He has collaborated with Yanchep-based filmmaker Matthew Bettinaglio, and composer Ryan Burge. Bettinaglio’s film is in seven Acts chronologically documenting Palmateer’s entire process of creation. Burge captured the extensive soundscape that fills the Northern Gallery with the ebbs and flows of the Northern suburbs coastline for the Meridian Arc soundtrack.
It was through Warrick’s infectious enthusiasm, practical wisdom and disarming honesty that he was able to convince one of Australia’s largest industrial brick manufacturers Brikmakers, to allow him unprecedented access to their entire manufacturing plant in order to develop and produce the largest fired vessels he has ever made. In the process, he has been warmly accepted by the totality of Brikmakers’ staff, who have been fascinated by Palmateer’s approach as an artist-in-residence working amongst them, using their clay and criticallyintegrating the challenge of making his new pots within their industrial processes.
Robert Frith is a professional photographer. He lives and in Perth and and does most of his work in this neck of the woods. Photographing art and artists has been a mainstay of his photography practice since late last century.
Matthew is a filmmaker based in Yanchep, WA. His work is best described as authentic, relatable storytelling, cinematic and visually pleasing. He relies on his images accompanied by the right sound, music and human voice to create an impact on the viewer.
Ryan Burge is a composer, sound artist, studio producer and performer. His compositions experiment with mixed media, in particular, electronics and field recordings in conjunction with live instrumentation.