Dani River King

Red crown, I did the best I could, 2023

29 × 25 × 5 cm
My art explores themes of identity, gender, neurodiversity and disability as well as objects of sentimentality, comfort and play. My practice features ceramic sculptures, vessels and wall hanging plates and slabs. They are often decorated with references from cartoons and video games such as Pokemon and Adventure Time, children’s toys and include childlike overtones as a way of maintaining a considered mix of light-heartedness and emotional depth. I use dinosaur toys as characters in my work—I almost associate them with nothing, they are non-objects which allows them to be personified. They are so removed from how dinosaurs actually were, in size and in nature. They are shrunk into a cute toys that I find a sense of comfort in. I enjoy the shapes and colours of my dinosaur toys, mainly the red pterodactyl—the shape almost mimics Jesus on the cross which I find funny as it’s an absurd symbol. Using the red pterodactyl along with other coloured dinosaurs repetitively in my work creates a sense of storytelling and playfulness. It doesn’t directly or clearly speak to anything but works to incorporate lighthearted overtones while exploring more difficult themes of struggle and feeling remorseful. Working with ceramics allows me to build my canvas. It helps me integrate the drawing into the composition and makes the drawing feel part of the work instead of on top of the work because I created both. The collaboration between image and medium helps it feel more resolved. This work is hand built of white earthenware clay and fired to 1080 it is decorated with slips and underglaze and finish with clear glaze, the pterodactyl is attached to the main body of the work with epoxy and the join is painted with acrylic and finished with ethyl acetate. It can be hung on the wall or sat in a plate stand and is designed to be a decorative piece only.

I am a 25 year old autistic, queer and non-binary emerging artist working on Gadigal land in Sydney, Australia. I work across the mediums of ceramics, drawing, photography and poetry. I completed my Bachelor of Fine Art majoring in ceramics at The Art National Art School in 2019. I now have a studio at Kil.n.it in Glebe. I am the founder of Fluid Thinking Magazine, a publication centring marginalised emerging artists.

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