Current Exhibition -28/2/24 to 1/4/24


Gallery One Two and Three

"ALL FIRED UP"

FIRED UP


Fired Up is a tribute to the unwavering commitment of women worldwide who have tirelessly fought for gender equality and social justice. Each artist in this exhibition channels her unique perspective, experiences, and artistic prowess to portray the essence of feminist ideals. Their works resonate with the strength, resilience, and unbreakable unity of women who have risen above adversity to inspire change.


Focusing on artistic mediums that use fire in the process of creation, Fired Up pays homage to the fires of feminism continue to blaze. Fired Up invites you to experience the transformative power of art in advancing the cause of gender equality. This exhibition underscores the crucial role that women play as torchbearers for justice, equality, and progress, both within the art and society at large.


Featuring artists Sian Adnam, Laurel Billington, Catherine Blamey, Ruth Bruten, Anna Cuttriss, Regina Dudek, Carmel Duffy, Nicky Fraser, Ann-Maree Gentile, Andrea Hall, Wendy Kenworthy-Smith, Emma LeMar, Nadine Lineham, Kim McDonald, Ann Parry, Wendy Reeve, Cindy Tong, Liz Wearne & Libby Witchell


Curated by Jasmin McNeill


FIRED UP


In recognition of the dynamic and unyielding passion that women bring to the world, Fired Up, is a group exhibition coinciding with the month of International Women's Day 2024. This powerful showcase not only celebrates women's creativity but also amplifies the fire of feminism that burns within them.


Fired Up is a tribute to the unwavering commitment of women worldwide who have tirelessly fought for gender equality and social justice. Each artist in this exhibition channels her unique perspective, experiences, and artistic prowess to portray the essence of feminist ideals. Their works resonate with the strength, resilience, and unbreakable unity of women who have risen above adversity to inspire change.


Focusing on artistic mediums that use fire in the process of creation, Fired Up pays homage to the fires of feminism continue to blaze. Fired Up invites you to experience the transformative power of art in advancing the cause of gender equality. This exhibition underscores the crucial role that women play as torchbearers for justice, equality, and progress, both within the art and society at large.


Featuring artists Sian Adnam, Laurel Billington, Catherine Blamey, Ruth Bruten, Anna Cuttriss, Regina Dudek, Carmel Duffy, Nicky Fraser, Ann-Maree Gentile, Andrea Hall, Wendy Kenworthy-Smith, Emma LeMar, Nadine Lineham, Kim McDonald, Ann Parry, Wendy Reeve, Cindy Tong, Liz Wearne & Libby Witchell


Curated by Jasmin McNeill


Five women sit in a circle with earth in our hands. 

We stoke the fire together, talking, listening, sharing.

Like clay, we withstand nature’s fury - our bonds strengthen, we glow and contain and endure. 

We are borne of nature, and seek to explore it relentlessly, together, magnifying simple small details. Our work is of the earth, shaped by air and water, forged in fire. 

The earthbound energy of our womanhood is the fire that forges our friendship. 


Andrea Hall

Wendy Kenworthy-Smith

Wendy Reeve

Cindy Tong

Liz Wearne


Anna is a part-time ceramicist, working out of her home in Sandy Point. Her work focuses on functional pieces, designed to bring art into everyday use. 


Vulva Vessels are all about honouring and celebrating women’s bodies. By creating art to be used every day - for a morning cup of tea or a takeaway coffee at your local cafe - Vulva Vessels spotlight a part of the female form that is often stigmatised and kept in the shadows. 


Anna hopes that by displaying the variety of shapes, sizes, colours it will reduce the taboo and shame around women’s bodies, female pleasure and sexuality.


While Vulva Vessels are a celebration of all things vulvas, Anna acknowledges that not all female bodies have vulvas, and not all vulvas belong to those who identify as female. 


Anna Cuttriss

annacuttriss.com


Acknowledging the enduring fight for female equality. The instantly recognisable dog tag as a military adornment, provides a link to jewellery and statement art; and references ongoing struggle. Rather than rank and personal details on the tags; the uterus, boobs and fulsome bums - exclusively female forms, provide a universal female ID.  


Depletion gilding is a technique using fire and heat to draw copper out of Sterling Silver, leaving a fine silver surface. This is an analogy of the fire in the belly rising to the surface of so many women faced with derision, inequality, prejudice and the quiet erosion of self, due to patriarchal powers that dominate society. Fire is also used to flame colour Copper, bringing out an array of random blushes on the surfaces, parallel to the unique qualities we all have as individuals. These tags can be worn proudly declaring the female form as an artwork.


Fire Colouring Copper Technique

Applying heat to copper creates oxidisation. The copper will go through a series of gold, orange, pink, purple, dark blue, and light blue, before turning black. Variations of air and heat determine a range of colour outcomes on the surface. Heat colouring copper is a very experimental and unpredictable process, determined solely by the temperature of the metal. 

*Note - colours will naturally fade over time.


Depletion Gilding and Reticulation Technique

Depletion Gilding involves annealing a sheet of silver alloy up to 10 times to oxidize the copper at the surface. Each time the silver is pickled and cleaned to remove the oxide (depleting the copper content) which leaves a surface nearly pure silver content. Once the sheet is gilded, it is heated with a torch to reticulate. The alloy in the interior flows before the surface metal does. The result is that the top layer wrinkles, creating random surface patterns.


Artist Biography

Carmel Duffy qualified with a Melbourne Polytechnic Diploma of Jewellery and Object design in 2019. She has since worked from her home studio cddesignhouse; creating contemporary designs in jewellery, exclusively in silver and focusing on traditional Jewellery making techniques and hand fabrication. Fascination in the ability to create fine, flowing and delicate forms from hard solid metal informs her style. Happenstance and experimentation often steer the direction and surprise of making individual pieces. 

Her pieces are stocked in South Gippsland at Meeniyan Art Gallery and The Handmakers store in Fish Creek. Fired Up will be her first public showing apart from her graduating exhibition – Aurora 2019. To see more of her work, go to cddesignhouse.com, or Instagram @cddesignhouse


Carmel Duffy



And once again into the fire I go. Maybe it has been the life experiences I have had to endure and the constant challenges of being a strong headed woman , that have shaped my works to date. I love how clay in its raw state, is able to be shaped into anything, sliced, shaved,  cut back and again added too. After the firing, the fire and furnace, there is no turning back. The shape is solid and unwavering and no amount of water or immersion will take it back to its original state. For me, the emphasis has always been on surface decoration and how through trial and error and multifaceted firings , a shape can take on new appearances and depth.


Sian Adman


I have worked with earth(clay)and fire for six decades and never cease to wonder at the transformation by fire of clay and glaze. To open a kiln after firing is magical, and always a learning process. This ancient natural material and method is still of great value, use and beauty in this very technological age. There is both a strength and fragility about the fired and finished work. It can be easily broken, but if treated with respect and care it can last forever. Amazing!

There is also a strength and fragility in being female. Physically we may not always be so strong, but in character, purpose and capability there is great strength. When given opportunity and treated with respect - We are Amazing.


Laurel Billington 


I use the metaphor of birds often in my work. I marvel at their beauty and ability to fly. I often reflect on their evolution from prehistoric creatures, survivors of the cataclysmic planetary events that wiped away all the larger and more powerful dinosaurs.


Catherine Blamey



My pieces in this exhibition are from an ongoing body of sculptural work where I explore themes of power, beauty, fragility and magnificence in Women- each piece you see here is named after a different Fire Goddess from a different culture. 

I am interested in exploring the things that link women together across the world; the similarities, the commonalities and likenesses, alongside the differences that make us human.


I work in my purpose built ceramics studio in Trafalgar, Victoria on our Olive grove nestled in the Strzelecki ranges, where I create sculptural & functional pottery as well as paintings. I also run regular pottery classes in this space.

I am also a mother of five children, a friend, a wife, a creative mentor who is passionate in encouraging others to pursue a creative life and a producer of Extra Virgin Olive oil which we produce onsite on our property.


Ruth Bruten



My work as an artist is an exploration of the limitless potential of discarded materials. I am drawn to the raw beauty of metal and its ability to be transformed and reborn into powerful and thought provoking sculptures.


As a resident of the enchanting landscape of Loch, I am constantly inspired by the connection between nature and the human experience. Through my upcycled Warrior Women sculptures I aim to challenge societal norms and empower individuals to embrace their hidden strengths and be brave enough to venture out into the world and blaze your own trail !!!


Regina Dudek

 

In my practice making clay vessels, I am exploring the tension between my feminism and the ideals of femininity. Clay is strong and delicate, decorative and functional, all at the same time. Its beauty cannot be denied, it is there to look at, and yet there is the enduring reality that it is a practical form. It is meant to be used, again and again. Both my practice and the vessels are inherently female.

I take the raw material and shape it. Each day is different. I might feel vulnerable, empowered, or anywhere in between, and that feeling will show up in the work. Each piece I make is unique and stands alone, yet as a group they come together as a cohesive narrative. It is a dialogue. 

Then, the process of firing, which is essential to the completion of any work. As a ceramic artist you must control all elements of the making process. Then you surrender to the intense process of firing, where you lose control. That irony is not lost on me. I hope it can endure and, sometimes, it does. Ultimately the work emerges transformed. 

Artist Biography

Nicky trained in Ceramics and then later in Art Therapy. She has a broad creative and expressive arts background. As well as her own making, she has worked therapeutically for many years supporting groups and individuals of different ages to create and exhibit works. Now she is returning to focus upon her own practice of making functional ceramics that are strong, fluid with a painterly quality to them. Her ceramics are imperfect, messy and playful, inspired by colour and movement. @nickyfraserceramics


Nicky Fraser


How does feminism and fire show up in my art?


I guess it starts with a spark of an idea, the synapses in my brain firing, it shows up in what I choose to make when that spark ignites. There’s an element of nostalgia in my work. Thoughts and memories from my childhood. A time when women were burning bras and feminist icons for me included, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Princess Leia, the Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, stars of the screen. Then there’s the women you knew, funny women, caring women, ordinary women, magnificent in their own unique way, modeling all the ways there was to be a woman in this world. There is a rich tradition of making female figurines in clay. I’m not doing anything new, but I have found my own style and voice and sometimes it whispers and sometimes it shouts GIRL POWER.


Ann-Maree Gentile


Andrea’s journey with clay is leading her to making meaningful pieces. These pieces represent the path to untangling the complex and often deeply ingrained, biased and invisible expectations that limit many women. Untangling the patriarchy begins with enlightenment. It’s a fight, both internal and external, to break free of limiting socially constructed and unspoken rules. Untangling the hold they have on our lives.  We can value the positives of shared knowledge, cultural practices and traditions of the past, but we all deserve to be free to be ourselves. To be free from expectations. To be free from violence. To be free to choose.  Choosing our own path.

Artist Biography

Andrea Hall is a potter based in Airly, a small rural hamlet on Gunaikurnai country, Central Gippsland. Andrea’s work is mostly functional and wearable pieces and she loves the slow, meditative moments of creating with clay. Drawing on the natural environment, Andrea experiments with colour, patterns and movement. 


Whilst exploring hand building and slip casting, she is incorporating the techniques of mishima, sgraffito and glazes to achieve unique, personal and meaningful pieces. @ah.clay 


Andrea Hall


My collection is inspired by celebrating women’s bodies and minds. I’m honouring the strength, resilience and beauty of woman. We are leaders, listeners, powerful and tender. We are women supporting women.


Wendy Kenworthy-Smith


My work is created from fine porcelain, wheel-thrown and hand sculpted into delicate forms exploring the idea that extreme pressures can be survived without compromise. My inspiration for this exhibition was drawn from nature, such as eucalyptus regeneration after bushfires, the beauty of a rose including its thorns and the strength of women who refuse to compromise their sense of self in the face of a hostile system.


Emma LeMar 


David Holmes was my mentor for years, he designed this teapot his college degree, they were his signature work. I am proud to now recreate these pieces in his memory.


Emma LeMar


Yggdrasil is the pillar at the centre of Norse mythology, the sacred tree that supports and gives life to all of existence. Yggdrasil here represents our ecosystem; a complex structure of biodiversity that weaves around our Earth, keeping it whole.


Emma LeMar


Living on Phillip Island, I have been inspired by the beautiful little birds that frequent our shores. Little Penguins often mate for life and share the duties of caring for their young, with males and females alternating who goes fishing for the family each day.


Emma LeMar


As a child, I spent hours sitting with my lamb in the field making daisy chains. The daisy has always been an important flower to me and with this piece I explore how these delicate petals can endure the intensity of a Raku firing.


Emma LeMar


‘Fired Up’, allows me to respond to the shifting environment that promotes women to seek validation from themselves and to confront the barriers that subconsciously socialise young women to evaluate their self-worth based on physical appearance. This current work questions the paradoxical nature of beauty pageants. Some view these pageants as a form of feminism, but does it fall solidly into the realm of the outdated patriarchal society that continues to remain? This work conveys a young beauty queen being deprived of a crown by another’s hand. Her hand wipes her own tears away, does she feel the act has somehow erased her value as a young woman, or could this be the 'Slow Fall' of the patriarchy itself?


Artist Biography


Nadine has exhibited in solo, and group shows across Victoria and interstate since 2006.  During that time, she was shortlisted twice as a finalist for the prestigious John Leslie Art Prize, the EMSLA in NSW, and recently was awarded The Dick Bishop Memorial Art Prize for emerging artist in 2018-2019. My practice centres on abstraction yet each remains sensitive to my surrounding natural environment in Gippsland.  Her paintings are energetic and responsive and are strongly anchored in drawings that reveal structure and space.


I have always been interested in the negative space that surrounds the form and this allows me to explore the push and pull illusion of depth. This develops a visual language of what the painting asks for rather than responding to something recognisable. I react intuitively. I start each artwork drawing in charcoal, sometimes using collage to harness a structure that emerges. To remain flexible, I paint in layers using palette knives, brushes, and oil sticks. Importantly, I rely upon my drawing and brushwork to create the energy with loose gestural mark-making for this allows me to create a history by adding and subtracting the movement, and this importantly moves the painting forward.  


Maintaining a lifeforce of a painting is a continuous challenge for me.  What starts off quite random ends up as a contemplative careful process where I am reacting to colour, line, and shape and this involves precise modifications. I have to say that I strive for my paintings not to be too pretty. So, I try to have some tension in the visible layers, allowing colours to interact and heightening the senses. I aim to express an emotional connection to the work, to feel rather than to see. The use of black remains a staple for me, it creates the voids, a beginning and an end, and everything in between, you can find a lot or nothing at all, it depends on what you are ready to perceive. 


Her artworks hang in both private and public regional art collections in Australia.


Nadine Lineham

The charcoal self portrait drawings in this exhibition were made between 1992 and 2024.

The use of charcoal as a medium is relevant to the theme of the Fired Up exhibition. Charcoal is, afterall, created by burning wood. It’s a substance that embodies life and death, ancient art practices, softness, resilience and temporality. When drawing my self portraits with charcoal I am reminded of kindred qualities that I share with the medium: resilience, being simultaneously delicate and strong, possessing dark and light elements, endurance. All of these and more continue to shape my experiences and sense of self.

I use charcoal as a medium as I love its versatility when drawing. It is forgiving and I can shift it and move it easily across the surface of the paper. When I press hard I can create intensity, with dark layers of drawing that swallow me whole. If I erase it with a gentle touch I can produce light effects that are delicate, luminous and ethereal.

Self Portraits - During the process of drawing with charcoal both medium and subject fold together to become one. They take on a new life: a life rendered in charcoal.

Kim McDonald

Seed pods are resilient. They can withstand and actually require, in some instances, fire in order to create the right environment in which to spread their seeds. This collaboration between all the elements and the environment in order to prosper and maintain the continuity of the species is a fascination for me. The endless ( seemingly) forms in which they take, along with the colour variations and textures are the mainstay of my work. The constant life followed by death cycle, that is required in order to regenerate, is a factor in all forms of life on the planet, and one I’m conscious of in relation to myself and my work.


Wendy Reeve


The ‘Flourish’ series symbolises growth through perseverance. At the heart of this sculpture lies a Banksia blechnifolia, a slow-growing but hardy species that achieves resilience through years of hard won subterranean gains. Reminding us that truly great achievements in life are not fast won, rather nurtured and fostered into being.


Cindy Tong


The centrepiece of my ‘Ignite’ collection, this sculpture is inspired by the banksia’s regeneration process. Only in the aftermath of a fire will the Banksia drops its seeds. Burnt but not broken, allowing the beauty of the next generation to rise from the ashes. What one must endure to survive in this world.


Cindy Tong


This collection of pots is inspired by the colours and textures found on my solitary walks along Mississippi Creek in the Colquhoun State Forest.


When I'm in the bush, I feel myself a minute part of a universal whole, alight with possibility.

I am free from what is demanded of my gender.

I feel the flame of all that is possible in my life.


Liz Wearne


I am ‘Fired Up’ about the Urban Encroachment on Rural land.  My artwork reflects this struggle. I am passionate about preserving some open spaces from the rapid encroachment of Urban Developments, which poses a significant threat to the natural landscape, wildlife habitats and agricultural pursuits, that make Rural land and lifestyles so special.


I believe it is crucial to find sustainable solutions that balance the need for Urban growth with the need to protect and conserve the rural open spaces and lifestyles.  We need to preserve the unique charm and mental health benefits, associated with living in a rural area and mitigate the negative impact of Urban encroachment.


Libby Witchell