Picture a walkway/path through a tropical field of organic growth, each piece similar but on closer inspection unique. Delicate but enduring; the very properties that make porcelain so valued, displayed en-mass so that the work speaks both of diversity and commonality within the human endeavour to save the planet that sustains us. A floor-based porcelain installation, an expanse of budding exquisitely rendered botanic forms, each exquisite on its own, collectively breath-taking and sublime.
Botanically Porcelain will be an 18 month project led by Darwin artist Dawn Beasley in partnership with the George Brown Botanic Gardens. Starting in 2021 and culminating in a three venue exhibition in 2022.
The project will begin with Artist in the Gardens, with Dawn working direct from nature in the botanic gardens to produce mixed-media studies, recording shapes, forms and textures to inform later design work. Public interaction will be encouraged and free Sunday in the Gardens drop-in workshops will encourage public artistic engagement with nature.
As the project moves into the designing and ceramic production stages the work will move from the Gardens to Dawn's studio at Tactile Arts. The studio will be open to the public to continue to foster and build a public following as the work moves from Paper to Porcelain.
July will see the artist returning to the Gardens to run a thematically linked community project to produce botanically textured tiles for a community mosaic installation before retuning to the studio for the intensive mass production stages of the project.
The choice of venues for the final exhibitions for the different parts of the project intentionally takes art to the community and brings the community into art spaces emulating the osmosis of plant influence into porcelain, and the installation of porcelain elements into a ‘garden’. This transitional theme is mirrored again in the exhibiting decisions for multiple venues creating a pilgrimage with conceptual links between the journey of creation and the hallowed ground of the formal gallery setting. Each transitional path adds weight to the intrinsic existential value of environmental care.
The three final exhibition venues will be:
- Botanically Porcelain will have its debut exhibition in the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art. The formal gallery setting creates a reverence to the immersive experience and conceptually isolates the work from the environment.
- Artist in the Gardens exhibition of supporting studies will take place in a George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens venue at the same time juxtaposing this work against the gardens environment.
- Botanical Clay the installed community project will also be officially unveiled, this work will be physically embraced by the garden that created it.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.