Anna-Karina Hermkens (SOLD)

After the Fires, 2021

7 VESSELS MADE OF PORCELAIN CLAY BODY WITH ENGOBE AND SGRAFFITO (ENGRAVED DESIGNS) ON THE OUTSIDE, AND GREENISH GLAZE ON THE INSIDE OF THE VESSELS
30 cm
$2,500
This work focuses on the devastating effects of the recent bushfires close to home in Yarramalong, NSW. The hand-built porcelain elongated trunk-like shapes are marked with sgraffito designs that depict the bush, burned black, but regrowing after the fires, branches reaching out to the sky. The vessels symbolise the tranquil, mysterious and sinuous qualities of trees, earth and sky, and the ways these elements are interconnected. Through use of positive and negative space and thin porcelain clay body, I aim to convey and interrogate enactments of dependency and interaction, but also of fragility and decay, hinting at the fragility of our ecosystem and our responsibility of care.
I am an emerging artist in the second half of my life (born 1969), igniting my enduring passion for the arts after an almost two decades long academic career. In 1989, I obtained a Propaedeutic diploma (propedeuse) from the Academy of Fine Arts, Maastricht, Netherlands. After a year of training in sculpture, I left the Academy to study Cultural Anthropology, specialising in Pacific art, gender, religion, and conflict. In 2013, I enrolled in the ‘Diploma in Ceramics’ program at TAFE in Hornsby, obtaining my diploma (with distinction) in 2016. Since then, I have been in the process of establishing my own studio (Bumble Hill Atelier) where I host workshops and produce my own body of work. Drawing upon my anthropological research on processes of becoming, and more specifically, on how human interactions, beliefs and values are embodied and materialised, my ceramics focus on anthropomorphic figures and vessels combined with etchings and paintings that interrogate the interplay between positive and negative space. In doing so, I aim to explore, convey and interrogate enactments of aesthetic agency and power, but also of fragility, trauma and decay. In 2017, I was a finalist in the Gosford Ceramic Art Prize with two stoneware vessels and subsequently participated in a few local group exhibitions with some of my ceramic work. In 2020, my sculptural work was part of a joined exhibition titled “BEINGS” (November 19-December 6 2020) with painter Deborah Van Heekeren at Humble House Art Gallery in Canberra, ACT (https://www.humblehouse.com.au/previous-exhibitions/). This year, my work was accepted as one of the finalists in The Little Things Art Prize.

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