UNSW Galleries is pleased to present a new exhibition of works by Australian ceramicist Kirsten Coelho. The Return brings together new and recent works inspired by Grecian and Roman artefacts and architectural remnants and is Coelho’s largest exhibition to date. For more than 30 years, Coelho has worked in porcelain, producing distinctive forms and vessels that fuse the precious and the everyday. As she describes, the medium of porcelain is both “mercurial and alchemic, unexpected and poised, unpredictable and disastrous, luminous and silken.”
Coelho’s forms often reinterpret utilitarian objects and draw from the social and material histories of ceramics, glass and metal wares. In their installation, Coelho creates groupings of forms that play with shadow, transparency and abstraction. These poetic ensembles also act as allegories for ideas of convergence and transformation, reflecting porcelain’s long history of trade and exchange, as well as the movement of people and the changing function of everyday objects.
To coincide with the opening of the exhibition, Coelho will take part in a special in conversation with author and art critic Wendy Walker, followed by the launch of the new monograph Kirsten Coelho (2020). This is the first major publication on Coelho’s practice spanning thirty years. In a series of essays, Walker traces the evolution of Coelho’s practice in which an ever-expanding framework of art historical, literary and cinematic references have driven a succession of formal shifts.
In conversation event: Saturday 8 May at 4pm. Register here.