The Speakers and Artists program has been a melting pot of debates and presentations around the important discourses within the ceramics and wider artworld, and a focal point for discussion on how the craft and its variety of practitioners are evolving to meet new challenges. The conference program consisted of keynote speakers followed by chaired panels.
There were artists presentations which were booked on a daily basis.
Akio Takamori and Masamichi Yoshikawa led Masterclasses in the week prior to the conference.
There were demonstrations running throughout the conference weekend at the JamFactory, University of South Australia and Adelaide College of the Arts, TAFE SA. We had over 18 artists doing demonstrations including such names as Prue Venables, Gerry Wedd, Phil Hart, Sandy Lockwood, just to name a few.
Twomey is a British ceramic artist who specialises in large-scale installations, sculpture and site-specific work. She has exhibited widely, including at the Tate, UK; Victoria and Albert Museum, UK; Crafts Council, UK; and Museum of Modern Art Kyoto, Japan.
Clare's work is influenced by observations of human interaction and political behaviour and pursues her interest in space, architectural interventions and the gallery as destination. Her recent installation, 'Conscience / Conscience' at the Ceramic Biennale in Korea, consisted of 3000 hollow bone china tiles laid on the floor. Guests were invited to walk into the gallery space, crushing the tiles underfoot as they moved about.
Twomey's installations reinvent and re-examine the way in which artists work in clay and, importantly, the way their work is presented in public environments. She subtly alters a gallery space, challenging our perceptions and the way we behave in those settings.
Featured Artwork: Trophy (installation at V&A Museum, London)
Reijnders is acclaimed internationally for his ceramics exhibitions and commission work and his work is represented in many collections throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the US. He uses simple forms such as spheres and cones to create poetic still life arrangements, frequently combining clay with other materials such as wood, cloth and newspaper. The arrangements of these objects are constructed to contest and undermine perceptions of the fragility of fired clay.
From 1987 - 2003, Reijnders headed the European Ceramic Work Centre (EKWC) in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. In this role, he collaborated with many international artists, designers and architects, challenging the possibilities of the ceramic process and facilitating the realisation of their experimental projects.
He also assisted in developing new clay materials and technical processes which have been incorporated into important contemporary architectural projects.
Reijnders currently teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam and is the author of 'The Ceramic Process', an encyclopaedic work commissioned by the EKWC and an important text in the field of ceramics.
Featured Artwork: Reflect II
Penny Byrne is a visual artist who meticulously reconstructs manipulated figurines from damaged and antiquated ceramic objects into artworks that wield a political message. The use of fragile ceramics contradicts the political messages evident in her work.
Byrne’s satirical viewpoint confronts a number of contemporary political issues that presents an ongoing inquiry into popular culture and international politics. Her training as a ceramics conservator informs her practice.
Byrne completed a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at La Trobe University, Melbourne 1997, a Bachelor of Art (Fine Art Ceramics) at RMIT University in Melbourne, 1987 and a Graduate Diploma (Ceramics and Glass Conservation and Restoration) at West Dean College in the United Kingdom, 1990. Byrne is currently represented by Sullivan+Strumpf Gallery, Sydney NSW Australia.
Featured Artwork: Keep Young and Beautiful, if you want to be loved
Takamori was born in Japan but has lived in the US since 1974. His work is represented in many public collections, including the Carnegie Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; American Craft Museum; Victoria & Albert Museum, UK; George Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Canada; Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan; and Ariana Museum, Switzerland.
Takamori’s work has always been figurative, based on the human body and expressive of human relationships, emotion and sensuality. Initially making vessel forms adorned with painted figurative details, he later shifted to an interest in sculpture. Standing and sleeping figures portray historical characters, contemporary society and rural villagers, their day-to-day existence recalled from his childhood in Japan. He has recreated his hometown from memory using clay and translated traditional Japanese prints into three dimensional porcelain figures. Takamori's ceramic sculptures evoke an eerie sense of reality and presence. Since 1993 he has been a faculty member in the University of Washington School of Art.
Featured Artwork: boy in blue shoes (2010)