Monday, July 21, 2008

Indonesian Ceramic Pieces Arrive at MAGNT

A total of 199 fragile ceramic pieces have just arrived at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) in preparation for the second triennial Arafura Craft Exchange Trajectory of Memories, Tradition and Modernity in Ceramics which opens in July. MAGNT Curator Australian Visual Arts and Crafts Allison Gray said the works, mainly from Yogyakarta, Indonesia arrived in a sea container safe and sound and staff have just completed the unpacking process. “This exhibition has been three years in the making, so it’s great to see all the hard work of the artists, Guest Indonesian Curator Sudjud Dartanto and museum staff come to fruition with the arrival of the pieces,” Ms Gray said. “Trajectory of Memories, Tradition and Modernity in Ceramics, is based on artists living in neighbouring countries occupying the same Asia-Pacific region, and their responses to living traditions, which are continually evolving as we move through modernity, but it’s also an opportunity to simply enjoy the artistic achievements of Indonesian and Australian ceramicists.”

Guest Curator, Sudjud Dartanto said there were three different statements visible in the pieces from the seven artists. “First is affirmation of tradition, which is articulated in decorative motifs seen in Sudiyati, Arisuta and Ottley’s pieces, inspired by customary symbols these works show that this expression takes different shapes as artists’ choices are affected by a variety of factors,” Mr Dartano said.

“The second statement is subversion – the positioning of one’s personal stories as the antithesis of grand narratives – as reflected in the works of Titarubi and Orchard’s works, and lastly the third theme is the tendency to flirt with signism, which can be seen in the works of Asmudjo and Doolan who display a playful approach to the various idioms of modernity.”

Ms Gray said the exhibition will feature works from four Indonesian artists and three Australian artists, including local Darwin ceramicist Harvey Ottley. “Harvey uses a really interesting technique of introducing horse hair at the point of hot temperature in the firing, which results in the line pattern of her ceramic works,” Ms Gray said.

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