South Gippsland artist Owen Rye is a maker of ceramic jars.
Rye’s wood fired ceramic jars and pots express the distinct characteristics of the medium. While producing vessels in ‘families’ of similar forms, each pot is unique and presents different qualities. Rye challenges the attitude that wood fired ceramics are uniformly brown by producing eclectic pots with a wide range of colours and textures. He says:
“An attitude has grown that wood fired ceramics are ‘brown’, but really a wide range of colour is available. Red, orange, pink, blue and green, along with many other shades and hues, all seem natural outcomes of wood firing to me”.
A lifetime of study and decades of rigorous practice have so grounded this master of ceramic technique that he can afford to play with fire – literally and metaphorically. Rye’s ceramics are all stoneware, having been fired at a temperature in excess of 1,200°C. The process of wood firing ceramics is fine balance of chance and skill. He explains:
“My work is fired using wood fuel in an anagama style kiln, basically a tunnel about five metres long and a metre high. I take anything from two to three weeks to stack the kiln, very carefully considering how the flame and ash will impact each piece. The aesthetic challenge is to blend the colour of clay and melted ash harmoniously”.
Art writer Morag Fraser AM says:
“The results are works whose forms are timeless yet always intriguing, whose surfaces have the textural variety of eucalyptus bark or the gleam of a waxing moon. They are works to make you stop and ponder…”
While having shown widely throughout Australia and internationally since the 1970s, Jars is the celebrated artist’s first solo exhibition at the Gippsland Art Gallery.
OPENING & ARTIST TALK
Friday 17 February commencing at 5.30pm with artist talk.
To be opened by
Dr Tony Hanning
Co-ordinator, Gippsland Centre for Art and Design
Federation University, Churchill
Invitation Owen Rye - Jars
Catalogue_Owen Rye - Jars
Born Australia 1944
Glazed stoneware, 60 x 35 x 35cm
Courtesy the artist and Skepsi Gallery VIC
Venue: Gippsland Art Gallery
Gallery Exhibition (Sale) - Owen Rye - Jars