SALA Festival exhibition a showcase of ceramic techniques

Aug 15, 2023


A SALA Festival exhibition featuring the work of past and present TAFE SA arts lecturers and alumni demonstrates the diversity of ceramics practices and techniques.

Outside, Inside & All The Way Around: The ceramic vessel and the environment of educational exchange includes the work of 21 visual artists, with traditional pots and porcelain vessels standing alongside clay characters and sculptural works.

Initiated by the current TAFE SA ceramics lecturers, including Phil Hart, Jo Crawford, Merrilyn Stock Sophia Phillips and Alison Smiles, the exhibition brings together educators from different eras and hand-picked alumni.

The result is a significant showcase of ceramics which highlights the depth of talent shared and nurtured through the Adelaide College of the Arts (AC Arts) program.

Lecturer Alison Smiles says it’s unusual to have such a mix of artists and techniques in the one exhibition.

“It’s not often that you have well recognised, established artists alongside those in the development stage of their practice exhibiting in an egalitarian environment, it’s a bit rare,” she says.

“It’s great to have them all together. We have Bruce Nuske who has been a mainstay of AC Arts and Peter Johnson, and it’s special to have work from them.”

Alison says the eclectic artworks complement each other with the diverse methods used to create them acting “like a conversation across the room”.

“Some people have taken the opportunity to make new work, while others have taken things from their collections,” she says.

“We have installation and ephemeral work, traditional pots, organic shapes, wood kiln fired work and sculpture.

“We asked everyone to include a vessel which is symbolic and in keeping with an education theme; the studio is a vessel, the person making the work is a vessel and we’re all vessels exchanging knowledge.”

The exhibition is also being used as a teaching tool for current students with more in-depth discussion around the various techniques and styles of work.

“It’s good for students to see graduates of the course going on to produce work and to hear about the context and background of that work, it gives them a deeper understanding of the ceramics,” Alison says.

Outside, Inside & All The Way Around: The ceramic vessel and the environment of educational exchange is at Light Square Gallery until August 17.

Pictured work by Holly Phillipson.