Antoinette O’Brien

Sea Spume and Substrate, 2023

38 × 26 × 22 cm
Sea Spume and Substrate 2023, is of sea foam and spit, of fig roots and the deep rich minerals of the earth. This work speaks to the mutability of the earth’s mantle and its fragile bounty. Made in the wake of the historic Northern Rivers floods in 2022, this vessel is both a wound and a receptacle. Those floods spoke to a vaster time scale and older stories than we could know, but there are stories about them that precede us. They are stories we listen to with the marrow of our bones, stories of arks, creation, of changing tides and rivers in the sky, of forces shifting. Stories that we are usually hard pushed to imagine, and then we found ourselves witnessing them. As vast sheaths of what we thought was solid, moved, opened, tore, and stretched. Our community was placed under these same forces. This vessel echoes the dynamics of our planet as it changes and moves in dramatic ways. After the flood we walked in sea foam mountains that undulated down the beach towering over our heads. These types of experiences inform this work.

Antoinette finds inspiration in the social and natural world and explores the human form within it’s surroundings in her mixed media ceramics. The arresting faces of figurative works gaze out with a lifelike intensity, revealing a consideration of painterly techniques. With a signature style and palette. Dedicated to the Lismore ceramics community. Recently was a speaker at Ceramics Triennale(’22), a finalist in the Woollahra Art Prize(’22), and undertook a paid residency at the Corridor Project Cowra(’23), Expansive Encounters artist in residence exchange ArtsNR Christchurch NZ (‘23).

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