• Sandhills near Nyrripi, Northern Territory, Australia, 1996, photographer – Cathy Keys

    Sandhills near Nyrripi, Northern Territory, Australia, 1996, photographer – Cathy Keys

  • _tsunami_ series coil detail, 2005, earthenware ceramics, oxides, coil detail 5x7cm, photographer - Cathy Keys

    tsunami series coil detail, 2005, earthenware ceramics, oxides, coil detail 5×7cm, photographer – Cathy Keys

  • design drawings for _the edge/the centre_, sketchbook, 2004 - Cathy Keys

    design drawings for the edge/the centre, sketchbook, 2004 – Cathy Keys

The Edge The Centre Artist Statement

This exhibition is a dialogue between desert and coastal landscapes and explores ritual and functional meanings associated with ‘the vessel’. This body of work was exhibited alongside the ceramics of Sunshine Coast artist Ute Dittrich at Fox Galleries, Brisbane, Australia, June 2005.

spirit of place

The sculptural forms were approached from both a secular and ‘spirit of place’ perspective. The weathered surface textures were worked to reflect the Australian landscape’s transformative power both in literal and sacred terms. The primary role of the pieces can be seen as ‘holding’ symbolic and cultural meaning.

ceramic hand building

The intimacy of openings, gaps, cracks and edges has grown in importance, as has the need to allow an exploration of interior spaces. The coil-built forms have a monumental scale but investigate issues of fragility, endurance and the dynamics of human existence. Care is taken in creating and placing individual coils with the aim of creating a sense of tension in the finished surface.

Coiling

The powerful interaction of climate and environment in the Australian landscape is translated through the forms and textures provided by the coiling process. The hand-building technique of coiling is repetitious, meditative and fundamental to the visual quality and structural strength of the forms generated. Clay and ancient techniques, like coiling, provided the inspiration for new and relevant aesthetic results.

read more

Michael Fox, 2004, ‘Jill Cuthberson and Cathy Keys’, in Alchemy – Exploring the Dynamic between professional and emerging ceramic artists, Fox Galleries Brisbane, pp. 18,19.
Cathy Keys, 2005 ‘Do they hold water?’, in The Journal of Australian Ceramics, vol44, no3, pp66-68.