Crafting this Antipodean Place


Crafting this Antipodean Place

Australian landscapes are old, powerful and strange to Eurocentric eyes. To Indigenous Australia, whose pre-colonial history stretches back something like 60,000 years, every part of the landscape was active and spirited, full of story, meaning and relatedness. Contemporary mainstream Australia views the land as a resource to be measured, assessed, and exploited, without agency and devoid of meaning beyond economic value.
This exhibition presents the work of Australian craft artists who engage with place in their work, giving us glimpses of its value beyond economy, and who are helping us construct new stories about our place in this part of the world.

Location: Australia
Members: 30
Latest Activity: Apr 3, 2013

Neil Turner

2 PIECE FIRE.  Fire on organic form. Elegant, wispy and reaching flames.

Sandalwood – H 300mm x W 350mm. Photographer Victor France.

HIDDEN SPIRIT. Harsh winds leaving rippled patterns, revealing what lies beneath undulating dry land.

Sheoak – L 1500mm x H 750mm x W 560mm. Photographer Victor France.

Neil Turner Bunbury WA Australia

Rebecca Ward

Storm Windows. Set of 4 x square format brooches, sterling silver (etched), 22k gold, stainless steel, 45mm x 45mm x 6mm. Photographer R.Ward

Storm Windows were produced during the peak of a rainy deluge as extensive weather systems swept our coastlines dumping record rainfalls.  We felt diminished, cowering indoors, peering out the windows in awe.  I considered the violent and eroding effects of these storms, both on my own psychological state as well as our built environment where roads and infrastructure disappeared alarmingly.  However, the environment rapidly recovered due to it woven matrix of layers and sun was soon to shine.  Human scratchings were exposed for what they were, reminding us that we are squatters on the surface of a much greater system and that natural order is our disorder.

Fire Stix Brooches. Fallen twigs, sterling silver, stainless steel. Each approx 52mm x 25mm x 11mm.

Photographer R.Ward

Firestix Brooches are a response to living in a tinderbox forest that without proper fire manage will happily facilitate a devastating wildfire or decay into a weedy mess unsuitable for koalas and other native fauna.  Where open forest is a both a natural and cultural artifact, a product of 1000s of years indigenous management or Firestick farming as it is sometimes called,  it is becoming apparent that it is not enough to simply leave nature be.


Rebecca Ward, Maleny QLD Australia



Adrian Potter

Parched. Drinks Cabinet, 2005. European Beech, Flame Mahogany, Celery Top Pine, Raw Silk Granite. H 1760mm x W 375mm (525mm at base) x D 350mm. Photography Grant Hancock.

A cabinet from the Water series.


Two Wild Rivers. Chest Of Drawers, 2010. Blackwood, Huon Pine, Black Heart Sassafrass, Leatherwood, Tasmanian Oak, Celery Top Pine. H 1090mm x W 700mm x D 475mm. Photography Grant Hancock.


. Two Wild Rivers is part of a series of 3 works regarding the Gordon and Franklin Dams in Tasmania. The other 2 pieces are The Real Gordon Dam and Lake Peddar.


Adrian Potter Adelaide SA Australia

Mollie Bosworth

Summers Past. Porcelain, digital laser decals. 130 mm W x 190 mm Hx 40 m D. Photograph M Bosworth.

Living in a rainforest provides me with endless inspiration and this piece conveys the profusion of tropical growth in the overlay of images while many small details draw the eye in.

Scattered Possibilities -detail. Porcelain, multi-fired.15 pieces D 60mm x W 120mm  x H 60mm each. Photographer M Bosworth.

Multilayered surfaces are used to convey the narrative of seeds with layers of slips, prints, washes and glazes reflecting images of their place.


Mollie Bosworth Kuranda QLD Australia


Richard Vaughan

Blue Gum Hall Table. Sydney Blue Gum (Eucalyptus saligna)  Glass slumped to a pattern Richard carved.
H 900mm x W 1200mm x D 360mm. Photographer Greg Piper.
"This hall table was inspired by the unique way sunlight dapples through the leaves of Sydney Blue Gums, a light printed on my soul."

Revolving Bookcase.Tasmanian Blackwood  (Acacia melanoxylon). H 1550mm x W 600mm x D 600mm. Photographer R Vaughan.
Ideas, stories and learning are not rectilinear motions - they are more like the interweaving light in a kelp forest.
Richard Vaughan Sumner Park QLD Australia



Cathy Keys

detail of bunya cone, 2012, H 200 mm x W 180 mm, earthenware ceramics, oxides. Photographer Cathy Keys.


bunya nut, 2012, stoneware ceramics, oxides, L 400mm x W 240mm. Photographer Gary Mitchell   

detail of bunya nut, 2012, earthenware ceramics, oxides. Photographer Cathy Keys 

These works are concerned with the cultural significance of Bunya Pine Trees (Araucaria bidwillii) found at the Bunya Mountains, Australia. 

Cathy Keys Bardon QLD Australia

To begin to understand the cultural significance of the Bunya, see Ross Annels' previous Crafthaus blog post Cant see the trees for the wood.

Simona Chytil


Banksia. Brooch, Sterling silver. W 70mm x H 25mm. Photographer Liljana Frey.

Oxidised Banksia. Brooch, Sterling silver. W 70mm x H 20mm. Photographer Liljana Frey.

The intricacy of a banksia pod is portrayed through individually domed, layered sections.

Simona Chytil Cooroy QLD Australia

Shannon Garson

Winter Fairy Wren bowl & Cuckoo Dove Vase, 2012, Bowl: H 50mm x W 60mm. Vase: H 80 mm x W 150mm. Porcelain, terra sigilata terracotta, glaze.

Shannon Garson's latest work articulates landscape using domestic pots as vessels for drawings about the strange beauty and wonder to be found in the marginalized eco-systems of the littoral zone.   Details of shorelines, rock pools and coastal wallum scrub are revealed in the sgraffito and oxide drawings that crawl over the surface of these delicately thrown porcelain vessels.


Shannon Garson. Maleny QLD Australia.


Stephen Roberts

House on Potts Point. Stoneware, 57cm long x 25cm high. Photography Stephen Roberts. 

The first European house at Alexandra Headlands, Queensland was occupied by William Pettigrew, sawmiller, surveyor, and shipowner. A second dwelling was occupied by his property manager John Potts, his family and the termites. Potts and family eventually moved into the main house in 1887. Pettigrew’s property was called Coolaluthin and the headland was refered to as Pott’s Point. From 1890 the dwellings were unoccupied and until 1908 were used occassionally as holiday shacks by the first “surfers”.Eventually the termites had the Coololuthin timbers to themselves again.


Looking for Dugong and The Point. Stoneware, 37cm high x 40cm wide. Photography Stephen Roberts. 

A surfer can spend a lot of time on a headland. Watching waves and other surfers. Deciding where to go out. At those times I imagine I am there 100 years ago. I would fashion a board from a tree buttress and be the only one out! But then again, if I were there 100 years ago, I would be looking for Dugong with my friends.


Stephen Roberts Palmwoods QLD Australia



About the Curator

Ross Annels is a studio artist/furniture maker based on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. Ross has exhibited, presented and taught in Australia and internationally, and his work is featured in publications including Art Monthly Australia, Australian Wood Review, 500 Chairs and 500 Cabinets. With his partner Dr Tamsin Kerr he has established The Cooroora Institute which brings together artists and artisans with public intellectuals to celebrate, promote and discuss community connectedness to place and environment. Their major project for the next year is The Currency of Birdsong.


Comment Wall


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Comment by Lorena Angulo on January 4, 2013 at 12:51pm

Gorgeous collection of works!
Love the textures !!!

Comment by Kathleen Faulkner on December 6, 2012 at 3:43pm

This is a Stunning show!  Good work, Ross Annels!

Comment by Paola Raggo on December 6, 2012 at 5:45am
Thanks for sharing this beautiful collection.
Comment by Sophia Georgiopoulou on December 4, 2012 at 9:34pm

Beautiful works, wonderful collection of art from Australia.

Comment by Kristin Mitsu Shiga on December 3, 2012 at 6:44pm

Wonderful to be able to "meet" these artists and see the Australian landscape through their eyes.  Many thanks for your ever-thoughtful curation and generosity in sharing this with us, Ross!

Comment by The Justified Sinner on December 3, 2012 at 2:42pm

What a thrilling collection... thanks for putting it together.

Comment by Sandra Murray on December 3, 2012 at 10:01am

This is wonderful! There are so many beautiful works here and I have enjoyed looking at them just now. The history behind Australia is also very interesting. Congratulations on this fabulous exhibition.

Comment by Brigitte Martin on December 3, 2012 at 7:30am

Tremendous exhibition, Ross! I am absolutely thrilled to be able to see this work!  -The story with the termites was particularly enlightening!

Thanks so much for putting this show together!


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