Missiles of hope…

This is another of those posts that gets shuffled to the side by ongoing events and then lost on the desk-top under the tide of continuing news. Luckily, as we’ve said before, there’s no used-by date for glad art tidings.




While the Gang was in Canberra for Sketching-DAC:CAC at Craft ACT, we had a lovely phonecall from ceramicist Diana Williams who was on a lightning visit to Canberra (her daughter’s just had a bubba) before haring down to Melbourne (where she’s recently relocated) and then high-tailing it back to China, to Jingdezhen in the Jianxi Province, where she not only maintains a studio but has also recently bought and renovated a fabulous apartment (she now actually resides and works there for a fair chunk of the year.) How wonderfully busy and exciting her life in Jianxi sounds – a visit has just moved to the top of our gotta-do wish list.

Meanwhile she’s since sent some snaps from her trés successful show (High Fired, Series 2) at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC earlier this year (we love her work and we’re particularly looking forward to seeing the Steyr, which she assures us is still in R&D), and she now has a website – www.porcelainartist.com.au – which is well worth a Cooks tour…



(above) gallery view of Washington exhibition. 

…and we thought we’d drop in this exerpt from the room brochure for her High Fired Series exhibition, held at the ACT Legislative Assembly in Canberra in 2005, as a quick ‘gallery guide’…

The artillery shell or missile is a potent and implicitly aggressive form, conceptually and aesthetically. Conversely its use as a weapon of destruction is a means of obtaining peace. This innate dichotomy, given articulation in an aesthetic object, asserts the power of art to act as the medium for the transference of meaning. The art object, created through a range of processes of malleability, speaks of permanence (the ongoing relevance of Chinese art for Williams) and further underscores the destruction/creation potential innate in the machinery of war.

The High Fired Series is concerned with contradictions and dichotomies. Williams subverts the menace of the artillery shell with beautifully executed decoration redolent of her intimate knowledge of Chinese porcelain. The fragility and subtlety of her decorative painting, delicate traceries and other devices ostensibly subvert the power of the form on which they sit. Maybe, but what they do positively assert is the coexistence of a range of interpretative possibilities. There is no single correct interpretation. Viewers can do that for themselves.

Peter Haynes, Director, Canberra Museum and Gallery & the Nolan Gallery
October 2005

More images from her latest exhibition here.

Related articles about Jingdezhen:



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