Ceramics, painting and printmaking, while considered to be different art-making mediums, share the characteristics of being intrinsically linked to the artist’s hand. When making a ceramic artwork, the artist uses their hands to shape, fold, and model the material into its final form. In painting and printmaking, the artist typically uses brushes and carving tools as an extension of their hand or body, making gestural marks on canvas, paper or plates.
The relationship between ceramics, painting and printmaking is a symbiotic one, with each art form influencing and inspiring the other. From ancient pottery to modern sculptures, ceramics have provided a canvas for painters and engravers to explore new techniques and styles. Likewise, the shapes, patterns, and colours found in ceramics have been translated onto canvas, allowing painters to create dynamic and visually stimulating works of art.
In Surface Effect, we’ve selected works from the MAG&M collection in which the connections between painting, printmaking and ceramics are made visible. Danie Mellor and Noel McKenna have hand-moulded and glazed their clay pieces and created the drawing and paintings on display. Printmakers Belinda Fox and Elisabeth Cummings have collaborated with Neville French and Barbara Romalis respectively, and Guan Wei has commissioned the large vase upon which he has applied his hand-drawn painting with glaze.
In the exhibition, the lines between 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art is blurred and the viewer is invited to consider the ways in which the aesthetics of each art-form influence each other.