Rosanagh May

Champion Ruby, 2023

35 cm
When creating a vessel, the clay always leads the way. Whether it bulges under the weight of coils, or pulls in, to balance itself, the final piece is never quite how I imagined. Champion Ruby is no exception, with its curves and handles, this piece has a mind of its own.

A lot of my work is commissioned pieces for others, usually very personal with chosen words and imagery intended for the recipient. For this piece, Champion Ruby, I wanted to create something that was entirely mine. I had been listening to Ruby Gill’s album on repeat and fell in love with the lyrics, “you make me weak at my knees, and I’ve got pretty strong knees”. That feeling of weak knees, and falling in love, is all too familiar and many of my life’s big decisions have been made, based on that exact feeling.

The snake, palm trees, lions, and lockets are based on Maud Wagner’s tattoo’s. There’s an old photograph I have, blu-tacked to the wall in my studio, depicting Maud’s impressive chest piece, and I have a similar piece tattooed across my heart.

“Today I think I’ve had enough. Maybe a bit but not too much. Oh, not too much but just enough to recall how it feels. And you potentially, you might remember me or maybe take responsibility for waking up the bits of me I thought were asleep”
Rosanagh May completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture, in 2007 at the University of Tasmania. Seeking a sea change, Rosanagh accepted a Cheese Making position and fell in love with the process and King Island; art took a back seat for many years. In 2021 Rosanagh started creating hand-built ceramic vessels. Each piece features lyrics from songs close to her heart. 2022 saw Rosanagh move from Hobart to Yolla on the NW Coast of Tasmania with the view to practising ceramics full time. Currently working from a tiny shed in her backyard, days are spent building vessels and painstakingly painting words, dots, animals and everything in between.
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