For the last 30 years I have been researching the work of the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. Klimt’s use of colour, precious metals and jewels to enhance his preoccupation with the pre-eminent female form in his richly patterned stylized paintings, exudes a sensuality that I endeavour to capture through the use of finely thrown porcelain forms decorated with lustre and precious metals. Form has always been my motivation. Initially it was the pure form of the 3 dimensional object enhanced by decorative elements. This has now grown to encompass the inner and outer space of the object whereby the decorative elements are used to transport the viewer into the inner space of the vessel their imagination and through the object’s perceived preciousness and iconic nature. Though based on everyday forms I have taken my vessels into the realm of ceremony and ritual by using more precious materials and higher levels of skill.
My work can be seen as iconic in that it celebrates the ritualistic and raises the object above the everyday. I pay homage to the beauty of my environment by portraying natures icons: the Glasshouse Mountains. In order to depict the imaging of the wondrous Glasshouse Mountains that dominate my landscape, I have nurtured my own vocabulary of marks and symbols to represent one of the first meetings of European and Murri culture: the Kurrie myth of creation and Cook’s myth of glasshouses glistening in the first morning light. In 1770 the same wind that filled the Endeavour’s sails blew across these mountains.
People relate to mountains on different levels and I use a process of layering to express these levels. As these works are dependent on the interplay of light, many layers are built up with resist, lustre and precious metals. Most pieces are refired between 10 and 15 times so that the surface colour and light reflection can be built up to create depth in much the same manner as a water colourist would use washes of colour.
In these works I endeavour to interpret the feeling of the mountains floating eternally like ships through space and time bridging two cultures and thereby creating our unique Australian culture.