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94 Stirling Highway
North Fremantle
Perth 6159, W.A.

Ph: (61 8) 9336 6231
Fax: (61 8) 9336 2678
Mob: 0407 385 335

Critical Space,
an exhibition of new works by

Sandra Black

at Early Work, 9 / 30 South Terrace, (cnr. Wardle Street) South Fremantle

26 September   to   7 October  2018

open daily 10am – 4pm


The exhibition is dedicated to Dr Robert Bell AM. 1946-2018,

formerly Curator of Craft and Design at the Art Gallery of Western Australia and Senior Curator of Decorative Arts at the National Gallery of Australia


Sandra Black is one of Australia's foremost ceramic artists, creating porcelain vessels recognised for their craftsmanship  and intricately carved and pierced surfaces. Sandra  explores the material's character through throwing, hand building and casting techniques, and its ability to transfer light through carving and piercing. She was initially attracted to the translucency and hardness of porcelain, and the fine surface it provided for carving and piercing. The purity of the medium added to its appeal, allowing her to infuse her pieces with a presence that she had not achieved using other clay.

Sandra’s work has a delicate quality, more akin with intricate lace or crochet than ceramic vessels. Its intimate scale enhances this feeling, resulting in work that departs from tradition and prompts a new way of considering the medium.

Sandra  began practicing in the mid 1970s, in 1975 taking up a part-time lecturing position at the Western Australian Institute of Technology. Since them she has continued this involvement with art education, lecturing in institutions and workshops throughout Australia, New Zealand, USA and also in  Canada  . She has been exhibited widely in the context of dealer galleries, selected and curated exhibitions and with public institutions. On several occasions her work was featured in the New Zealand Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award, winning the award outright in 1988 and receiving a merit award in 1989. She has also undertaken taken residencies overseas, in Canada, India and most recently  at “The Pottery workshop” in Jingdezhen, China, famous for its fine porcelain production.  Her work is held in major ceramics collections in Australia, Canada New Zealand and Asia.

Sandra writes of the title of the exhibition:

“When I was in China earlier this year I was reflecting on a bowl I was throwing, and was taken back to my time with Joan Campbell in her pottery classes at UWA student guild in the early 1970’s. Back then I was struggling with the centring of the clay and opening up the vessel shape. Joan brought to my attention the interior space and told me that was the most important part of the vessel. The walls were there to enclose and hold that critical space. My focus from then was to be on perfecting that inner space, and the outside would take care of itself in the careful finishing and balance of the exterior. It’s a lesson that’s always remained powerfully instilled in my making.
The second critical space is the positive and negative spacing of decorative elements. To get the balance in the layout of those surface elements takes time, care and inspiration from what the current themes are that I am working on. Each element is carefully placed in balance with the form it is applied to.
The third is my working space where the work is assembled. That necessarily quiet space is mainly in my garden studio in South Fremantle, but has also taken place in the various residencies I have undertaken in other parts of the world. Each of the residencies have allowed me time and a working space to rethink what I am making, to expose myself to different cultures and ways of working in that space, and to play with the clay, freed up from one’s normal daily routine. New ways of working and sources of inspiration have arisen from that time and space I have allowed myself to have.
These are to me three different, but Critical spatial elements that act upon and influence the making of my work. “


please click on images for further information about selected works from the exhibition

Critical Space  
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1 Branching Vine Vessel 2 Pattern Vessel *
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3. Kennedia Vessel 4. 7 Vines Vessel
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5. Banksia Leaf Vessel 1* 6.Banksia Leaf Vessel 2
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7. Leaf Lace bowl 8. 5 Banksia Leaf Bowl
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9.Black Wave Bowl 10. Jiangxi Spring 1*

please click on image for page 2

link to page 2

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