Bonnie Hislop

Making a Splash, 2023

30 cm
‘Making a splash’ is part of an ongoing series of awards for ordinary activities, and questions the concept of achievement. The form is trophy-like and also reminiscent of 18th century French pottery which often featured flamboyant illustrative designs and gold details. Depicted on the front of the piece is a swimmer wearing a cap and goggles diving into water, about to commence laps at a public pool. The scene is framed in gold with pearl-like accents as if to elevate the importance and grandeur of the activity. The dolphin motifs around the top edge signify both the fun and non competitive nature of the activity, and the proficiency of the swimmer. The pool-tile design around the body of the pot is decorative and similar to that of a hotel lap pool rather than a typical style used for training. The piece is satyrical, yet offers earnest consideration for celebrating the achievement of doing an activity, regardless of the quality or speed.

Bonnie Hislop is an artist focusing on ceramics, particularly handbuilding and ceramic illustration. Grounded in technical skill, her practice has evolved from creating illustrative ceramic cats to large scale sculptural work. Bonnie uses her forms to critically engage with the world around her and document the human experience. Working from her Meanjin home studio, Bonnie meticulously hand crafts her forms through an involved and often uncertain process inherent in working with clay. She unites bright colours and satirical concepts to engage her audience in a dialogue with the physical world around them. Her work intersects traditional representations of ceramics with a craft aesthetic to create a contemporary interpretation of the ceramic medium. The artwork doesn’t take itself too seriously yet is able to capture personal experiences universal to the human condition. Her practice aims to encapsulate universal experiences of frustration, angst, grief, emotional fatigue as well as feminine strength, intimacy and desire. The performative, brightly coloured ceramics forge an existence through joy and curiosity. In 2022 she and photographer Melanie Hinds developed an ongoing collaborative series which puts Hislop in the frame with the artwork, extending the messaging of the ceramic works. This collaboration seeks to subvert perceptions on the classic ‘artist portrait’ and expectations of femininity.
Bonnie has facilitated workshops at various venues around Meanjin and Australia.

Enquire about this artwork
Preferred contact method