Kirsten Coelho: The Return
- When 7 May - 31 Jul 2021
Cnr Oxford St & Greens Rd Paddington NSW 2021
TUES TO SAT, 10AM–5PM
+61 2 8936 0888
Adelaide-based ceramicist Kirsten Coelho works in porcelain, producing reduction fired forms and vessels that fuse the precious and the everyday. Coelho’s forms often reinterpret utilitarian objects and draw from the social histories and material culture of ceramics, glass and metal wares. In their installation, Coelho creates ensembles and groupings of forms that play with shadow, transparency and abstraction. They 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 changing function of everyday objects. Recent works have also explored the surface possibilities caused by the introduction of metal compounds such as iron oxide that create delicate signs of aging on the porcelain forms.
‘The Return’ brings together several new and recent works inspired by Grecian and Roman artefacts and architectural remnants. Coelho’s forms are suggestive of columns, statues and plinths, creating elusive modern ruins. It includes the installation ‘Ithaca’ 2020 inspired by Homer’s epic tale ‘The Odyssey’ (900-700 BC) and the ancient Greek island seen by Odysseus on his return home after a ten-year journey. Alongside this work, ‘Passages’ 2019 considers physical and symbolic changes to ideas of home and material culture abstracted by time and different cultural contexts.
In-Conversation: Kirsten Coelho with Wendy Walker + Book Launch
4.00pm Saturday 8 May 2021 | UNSW Galleries. Free with registration.
Join Kirsten Coelho in conversation with author and art critic Wendy Walker, followed by drinks and the launch of Kirsten Coelho (2020), 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 has driven a succession of formal shifts.
Wendy Walker is an acclaimed author, art critic, editor and occasional curator. Following a ten-year association with Broadsheet: Contemporary Visual Art + Culture, Walker took on the role of editor (2015–2018). She was the Adelaide art critic for The Australian (2006–2016) and the contemporary art critic for The Advertiser (1999–2006). Walker is also the author of Deborah Paauwe: Beautiful games (2004), Sydney Ball: The colour paintings 1963-2007 (2008) and Sydney Ball: The Stain paintings 1971–80 (2013).
Image: Kirsten Coelho, ‘Ithaca’ 2020. Porcelain, satin white glaze; dimensions variable. Image courtesy: the artist, Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney. Photograph: Grant Hancock.