11th green way art prize 2020. cooks river small sculpture. art est. gallery, leichhardt NSW
babbling banksia no.6
glazed earthenware and newspaper coiled vessel.
ceramic, newspaper, 4ply cotton
size: 18cm (h) x 16cm (w) x 15cm (d)
I have always been captivated by the Australian bush, my imagination fuelled by the stories of May Gibbs and her big bad banksia men. This little ceramic banksia form seems friendly and familiar, it makes me smile as I picture it chatting away to itself. The newspaper coiled, basket-woven top resembling a garden gnome, jolly and stout. Proudly taking up space, nostalgic and perhaps a little bit kitsch. But memories of childhood are like that - taking you to happier, simpler times where anything seemed possible.
This sculptural ceramic-based banksia vessel reinterprets traditional basketry with repurposed everyday materials. Cordage made from newspaper is used in the construction of the basket-woven top. The use of newspaper explores themes of communication, censorship and bush politics as reported or omitted from the daily ‘news’. The action of ‘making’, that takes time and care. The iconic banksia form is a salient reminder of the urgent need to preserve our rapidly disappearing bushland habitats.