Material Ways of Knowing
26th Feb 2018 - 23rd Mar 2018 to (Everyday)
Opening reception: Thursday, 1 March, 5.30 – 7.30pm
To be opened at 6pm by curator Peter Haynes
Building 25, University of Wollongong
Exhibition runs: Monday 26 February – Friday 23 March 2018
Monday – Friday 9am - 5pm
Free entry, all welcome
This exhibition of ceramic works by internationally recognised maker, Sandy Lockwood, is the result of intensive research undertaken for her practice-based PhD. This includes visiting Neolithic sites on Orkney off the North of Scotland, and the Neolithic collection of the British Museum.
Inspired by her field work, Lockwood became curious about her affective response to pitted, cracked and discoloured stone and clay objects from 5000 years ago, which tell a story of skilled hands, lives lived, time, weathering and human activity. The question that arose was firstly: ‘What is it about these artefacts that seems to resonate with what happens to clay when it is wood-fired, producing special material qualities and visual complexity; and secondly, how could this materiality be understood and told?’ Thinking through making, and making from the inside understood as a ‘morphogenic’ approach, together facilitated expression of her affective responses.
In discussing her work, Sandy says:
There is a kind of thinking and knowing that is done by the body and cannot be articulated in words. The pieces here are a telling of the journey of my material exploration running parallel with my writing. The works exhibited use the language of making from the inside, expressed using a visual vocabulary.
The pieces in this exhibition are all wood-fired and salt-glaze, and inspired by the weathered look of Neolithic artefacts. “But they go well beyond this” Lockwood says: “The ceramic works exhibited here is a central part of my thesis and a key to the expression, documentation, and experience of material ways of knowing.”
On first glance these works echo something of the experience of encountering recovered Neolithic artefacts and even the exposed sides of an archaeological trench. However, their ambiguity of form and texture offer an engagement of visual and affective complexity that grows with the provocation of imagination and curiosity. They take the viewer beyond mere representation.
Sandy Lockwood has been working with clay, wood-firing and salt-glazing as well as developing and building kilns since 1980. Her ceramic works have been widely exhibited and are represented in public and private collections in Australia, UK, USA, Europe, Korea, China and Japan. Her work has been published in journals and books and she has been a presenter on wood-firing internationally. She is currently a lecturer at the National Art School, Sydney.
Material Ways of Knowing’ is presented in partial fulfilment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Wollongong. This research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training (RTP) scholarship and the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts.
Image: Sandy Lockwood, Buried Axe series, 2017