A female python is a permanent resident in and around my studio. She is four meters long and as thick as my arm. Early this year, brooding on eggs, fiercely and tenderly protecting them, she never lost physical touch with the eggs for three months. The moment the first egg hatched - she left, emaciated an exhausted. She is back now, glamorous and formidable, some days I have to negotiate entering the studio as she is languidly draped across the steps and would not budge. In some mysterious way that escapes my reasoning this glorious creature, coiled on the bedrock of my imaginings, fertilizes my work. Archetypal, primal forms, mythologies and secrets are at the heart of my work."
These mysterious objects are the sculptures of Australian ceramicist Avital Sheffer.
Avital's forms contain layers of meaning and keep revealing themselves in a process akin to archeaology, what at first seem like an contemporary anthropological vessels, shift to reveal a sarcophagus, which in turn becomes an ancient religous artifact. These forms utilize the playful aspects of the movement, overlaying meaning between the form and the surface in a beautiful, poetic way.
"My new work investigates how notions of the body, symbolised, and worshiped, travelled from prehistoric to contemporary times.
Ancient female figurines encapsulate beliefs, desires and fears that are deeply etched in the human psyche. The earliest artefacts expressing fecundity and beauty embody an inherent conflict between paganism, fetishism and the monotheistic religions that is still at play today.
From amulets through totems to the abstract notion of the divine, I’m intrigued by the shared origins of these seemingly antagonistic worlds captured in those elemental forms. I magnify and stretch my vessels in search of line, volume, form and surface so that they evoke the enigmatic primal feminine principle." (from Avital Sheffer's website)
Where to see:
White Heat - Australian Ceramics Association Exhibition
When: 12.06.2009 - 19.07.2009
Where: Manly Art Gallery & Museum - Manly
Avital Sheffer -Terra Anima
Where: Robin Gibson Gallery - Darlinghurst www.robingibson.net
When: 18.07.2009 - 12.08.2009
An exhibition of sculptural works by five woman artists ,curated by Bob Connery. Works inspired by works of prose, poetry or film. Artists: Avital Sheffer, Deb Cocks, Lisa Gair, Catherine Lane , Stephanie Outridge-Field
Where: Fusions Gallery - Brisbane
When: 24.7.2009 - 25.8.2009
Deep Earth - A touring exhibition to Regional Galleries
Where: Next at Glasshouse Art Gallery - Port Macquarie
When: 6.8.2009 - 27.9.2009