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About the Exhibition:
The ceramic, textile and ink artworks created by Sarah Muir-Smith for In Plain Sight include everyday materials lying in our bathroom cupboards, medicine cabinets and garden sheds. Her work urges us to rethink the value of objects and reminds us that everyday items have a hidden potential that extends beyond what is obvious.
In early Japanese ceramics, the hidden potential of local materials was discovered and utilised to great affect- rice hulls and wood ash were found to contain silica which became glassy surfaces in the high heat of the kiln.
Wondering how to reveal the secrets of the materials in her own urban environment, Sarah experimented for months to create this body of work which utilises one or more elements of her immediate environment in each piece.
The works combine found, natural, waste and household ingredients with commercial ceramic ingredients on over 16 sculptural objects, as well as on fabric and paper. Transformed by heat, they shine in a new light- creating objects of beauty and function.
When asked about working with foraged, found and everyday materials, Sarah says: “Making this work has given me a way to allow the voices of the materials all around me to be heard. The most mundane things like antacids, vegetable scraps and sunscreen can transform into something beautiful, transcending their initial purpose. Everything around us is made from the same chemical building blocks, and viewing my environment in this way has opened up a world of possibility right at my doorstep.”
Sustainability and respect for the natural world is also central to Sarah’s practice. She is increasingly incorporating waste materials into her work. The natural elements in In Plain Sight have been foraged with permission from traditional owners.
Sarah hopes that In Plain Sight will inspire curiosity and resourcefulness in her audience. “Our planet’s resources are finite, so it’s time to think differently about how we consume, and to recognise the value of objects we take for granted.”
A strong advocate for skill-sharing and collaboration, Sarah is excited to bring about her interest in found materials and experimentation to the natural ink making workshop accompanying In Plain Sight.
Exhibition Details
Friday 18th November – Thursday 1st December
Louis Joel Gallery, Altona (5 Sargood St)
Cost: FREE
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