Material Studies asks the question: where do ceramicists’ raw materials come from? What disturbance is their extraction having socially and environmentally? How can we move away from generic solutions of sourcing raw materials and look towards a locally viable option, inherent to Naarm/Melbourne or Victoria? How can we innovate with materials that already exist and are about to be displaced (archaeological dig discard, demolished building materials or construction ‘waste’ heading to landfill)?
The exhibition presents 18 ceramic cubes each featuring a material found locally in Naarm/Melbourne - from broken brick and tile pieces, concrete rubble and stone-cutting industry byproduct to heritage glass, slate and bluestone. The aim of the exhibition is to prompt industry to use local materials that have potential to give identity and meaning to our built environment through architectural elements, landscaping, public art, finishes, texture and colour.
Georgia Stevenson is a Naarm/Melbourne-based ceramicist who has been developing her skills in pottery for the past 6 years. Shortly after entering the architecture industry in 2017, she locked in pottery lessons to provide an outlet for a hands-on experience that the profession wasn’t providing. After a transition into ceramic production and establishing her own artistic practice on the side, she is an emerging maker in the Melbourne ceramics community. Often highly intricate and detailed, Stevenson’s ceramics are created with surface and texture as the focus, paired with minimal use of glazes. The materiality and tactility of the clay has been the emphasis of past works. Stevenson is interested in material research and developing ceramics in the field of the built environment. Her aim is to surround people with objects that hold meaning and thoughtfulness in their design; a move away from manufactured, mass produced products to a hand-crafted, sustainable, local solution.
Image courtesy the artist. Photographer: Annika Kafcaloudis