This work is about the simultaneous state of knowing and not-knowing; an ebb and flow between the solid and translucent, heavy and light, two and three dimensional. It is about teetering on an axis between the recognisable and the abstract with the desire to instill wonder and inquisitiveness and to contribute to the conversation of still life. 

This work is contradictory. It celebrates the tradition and history of making and the relentless dedication to one’s craft, while simultaneously pushing against the rigor of efficiency and utility, process and practice. From within the discipline of studio ceramics, objects are deconstructed, re-interpreted and re-framed against the background of painting and sculpture. 

The work is quiet, focused, attentive, subtle and nuanced. It creates a space for softness, but it also explores the density of the materials of this earth and their transformation; the wetness and heaviness of clay and the solidity of rock faces. It is about being in landscape: pink sand, turquoise earth, a wall of green against the setting sun’s peach-stained clouds.

Kelly Austin is a ceramic artist living in lutruwita, Tasmania. She completed a Bachelor of General Fine Arts from the Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada in 2011 and a Master of Philosophy from the Australia National University, Canberra in 2016.

Austin’s work has been exhibited in curated exhibitions across Australia, Canada and The United States of America. In 2018, her work received a high commendation from the Bienniale North Queensland Ceramics Awards in Townsville and in 2019, Kelly received The National Still Life Prize from Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. In 2021, her work was included in the Women’s Art Prize, Tasmania and in 2022 was exhibited at HeidiMOMA, Melbourne. 

Kelly has undertaken numerous international artist residencies including QBank Gallery in Queenstown, Tasmania and Medalta International Ceramic Residency in Medicine Hat, Canada. Her work is held in both private and public collections including: The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ballarat.