Gemma Gale

Still, 2021

60 cm
The ceramic work "Still" is inspired by the images of Australian artist John Coburn, the pared down shapes and vivid coloured arrangements reminiscent to me of Matisse's cutouts. But beyond that they also relate to my Catholic upbringing. Even before researching Coburn's artwork and influences, the recurring abstract images reminded me of chalices ,communion and palms so much a part of my early childhood. Equally juxtaposed against strong references to our natural landscape, the organic shapes seem to "fit" together artfully designed in often symmetric compositions belying christian art and architecture. Starting from the chalice type shape in white raku clay, I wondered how my three dimensional versions would relate to each other. Keeping the long pedestals various natural vessels emerged ,rarely planned and cut directly from clay slabs. As I built more they naturally grouped together in continuous possibilities of arrangements where ,unlike Coburn, perspective, depth and overlap became important elements. The pale colours and lightly textured surfaces an exploration in clay slips and the illusion of mist on a still view. As with all abstract art , interpretation lies in the viewers own aesthetic and experience. To me, the vessels have become the first bloom of a flower, the squawking beak of a young bird waiting to be fed, a canoe on a very still lake, a sapling just starting to grow and a cup to capture dew on a new morning. Each piece's interior is glazed and so can be used as a vase on its own ,but the real delight is in working and reworking the arrangement. All pieces fit within the 60cm allowance when grouped and can be sold as one piece.
Gemma Gale B.ED.Art. Dip Ceramics Gemma Gale is primarily a ‘maker’ and art educator. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Art she taught in Sydney metropolitan high schools for 15 years ,teaching and marking the HSC artworks. When at home with small children, she taught art workshops at evening college in printmaking and started her own small fashion label “Semi Precious Gems” fashioning clothes from vintage fabrics and embroidered linen. She stocked a local shop in Mosman called ‘Inese’ run by Inese Ashley Wilson a prominent 1990’s fashion designer. After ten years designing, making and selling ,she enrolled in Ceramics at Northern Beaches Tafe to continue her training in clay. Here she revelled in learning more technical aspects of her craft such as wheel throwing , slab building , glaze technology and mould making and engaged in regular conceptual reflection with her teachers. She regularly won awards and exhibited with Tafe at their annual show until her Diploma in Ceramics was complete. She now continues her practice at Northern Beaches Tafe 2 days per week with fellow graduates under the guidance of mentors Chris James and Simone Fraser. She exhibits with fellow ceramicists in group shows at venues such as the Creative Space Curl Curl, BeBrave Art Gallery Avalon, GalleryLaneCove and The New Artisans Gallery Milsons Point . She is to exhibit in Glebe at The Shop Front Gallery in 2022 and stocks retail venues TheHappenStore Annandale , Made/Felt in Cammeray and LaneCoveGallery shop. She teaches Ceramics to both adults and children at GalleryLaneCove and primary art education at Chatswood Primary School. The bulk of her work is now produced in her fully equipped home studio called DirtCeramics and is about to launch her online website and shop in October 2021. She is continually inspired by her love of art history and architecture .

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