Gillian Hodes

Holding Light, 2023

25 cm
We live in a state of global and national upheaval; communities are splitting apart. Nature is our constant and I believe that whatever happens to our planet, ultimately nature’s resilience will prevail. Communities – plant, animal or human – continually break down and reform. This work expresses nature’s resilience and her ongoing creation of communities. Clumps of intertwined, fragile grass are bound closely together. The seeds waving in the breeze continually sow new clumps and these youngsters shelter close to the skirts of the older, stronger tussocks. Similarly, when individuals lean on and support each other they form a community, held together by emotional connections. Like simple grass which constantly regenerates, communities will always spring up, pull together and re-form. I was drawn to porcelain as its un-coloured form implies an essential simplicity. The absence of glaze enhances its translucency and the fragile, interconnecting membranes allude to ephemeral connections. Subtle light glimmers through between the plain white blades, casting shadows that shift from hazy to harsh. The translucency suggests the absence of absolute clarity, perhaps a metaphor for our future? Like evolution, porcelain bends and twists in the firing process, emerging stronger than it was before. This work holds light, expressing optimism and hope for our future.

An emerging ceramic artist based in Sydney, Australia, Gillian Hodes creates porcelain sculptural artworks. She constantly tests the limits of the material, creating ever-thinner, lighter artworks, exploring the intersection between translucency and structural integrity.

Gillian made a mid-career/mid-life switch from the corporate word to art in 2013, and has not looked back. She graduated with a BFA Sculpture from the National Art School, Sydney in 2015 and followed this up with a Diploma in Ceramics from Northern Beaches TAFE, Sydney, in 2017.

Gillian won the Craft NSW Emerging Artist award in 2017, an Artist Residency on Flinders Island in 2019 and second prize in the Wallenberg Portrait Competition in 2020.

She has been a finalist in many Australian art competitions, including (amongst others):
• Gosford Ceramics Prize (in 2023, 2022, 2017 and 2016)
• Clay Sydney Prize (2023)
• Remagine Art Prize, Wallarobba Centre, Hornsby, NSW (2023)
• Lakes Art Prize, Museum of Art and Culture, Lake Macquarie (2022)
• Little Things Art Prize, St Cloche Gallery, Sydney (2022, and 2017)
• Four Elements: Fire, Creative Space, North Curl Curl, NSW (2018)
• Port Hacking National Pottery Comp, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea, NSW (2018 and 2016)
• Four Elements: Air, Creative Space, North Curl Curl, NSW (2017)
• Blacktown City Art Prize, Blacktown, NSW (2017)
• Tom Bass Sculpture Prize, Sydney, NSW (2016)

Gillian regularly exhibits at art galleries in Sydney and its surrounds, and teaches ceramics to adults and children.

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