Kindred: It can mean family, tribe, a natural relationship or affinity. It can also mean holding the same beliefs or attitudes, or being associated by nature and other qualities. In the case of the upcoming Kindred exhibition at Left Bank Gallery in Southport, it means all of those things. Kindred will bring together works from nine of the Gold Coast’s finest Art Educators, in a celebration of diversity and experimentation of media. Artist Larissa Warren has been a Visual and Media Arts teacher for the last 15 years, and works most often with clay to create ceramic forms, recently winning People’s Choice at the 30th Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award. We had a quick chat with Larissa about her work, and the show.
The picture I’ve seen of your ceramic vessels really evokes the ocean for me, although I’m sure everyone has different interpretations! Do you have a particular influence or inspiration for your personal style?
Having lived the majority of my life near the ocean, that doesn’t surprise me. To be more specific, I would say my work is actually an exploration of the nature of memory. In particular, each of my series of work are certain recollections that have remained from my childhood (I grew up on the Gold Coast) and now define my present. My porcelain vessels capture pockets of colour and raw clays sourced from SE Qld clay pits; when fired these personal histories are trapped in stasis, seemingly immovable and permanently submerged in the depths of memory. The meticulous and, at times, unpredictable results from the mixing and layering of varying clay bodies represent the change and passing of time. Texture, whether it be conflicted, with gritty stoneware next to smooth translucent porcelain or simulated pattern is an important element in all of my vessels.
I understand you curated / co-ordinated the other artists in the show. Can you explain a bit about that process and why you chose who you did?
We have a fantastic community of art educators on the Gold Coast. We collaborate each year at Energies, our students’ exhibition at the GC Art gallery, but we also regularly share resources, support each other’s art practises and learn from each other. And it’s a pretty small world… Rachel (Jurin) and I studied at Qld College of Art together, Vicki (Morely) was my teacher mentor when I was training, Michelle (Exler) was a past Art student and is now a teacher. Left Bank Gallery have been brilliant to work with, they have a fresh and progressive approach. The space is super shiny too!
Kindred runs at Left Bank Gallery in Southport from 3 – 28 July. Drinks with the artists will be held on Opening Night on 15 July from 5.00 – 7.00pm. You can visit leftbankgallery.com.au/kindred or email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.