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Abstract Art, Ceramics, Exhibitions, Sculpture

Exhibition Opening – Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award 2015

Regular readers will know one of my ceramic sculptures was recently accepted into the biennial Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award, an award that has become a fixture on the ceramic awards calendar in recent years, The award is open to all Victorian artists, and spans functional ceramics through to sculptural and conceptual works, as long as the main medium used is clay.

The exhibition opening was held on Wednesday evening at the Mannigham Art Gallery in Doncaster, so now I can reveal my sculpture and give you a bit of information about the conceptual underpinnings of the piece.

So what is this artwork actually about?

I’m glad you asked…here’s my Artist Statement:

Much of the artwork I create addresses environmental issues, sustainability and the need for humanity to reconnect to the Earth and realise their symbiotic relationship with the landscape.

Landscape 1 is the first in a series of sculptural artworks that capture this ethic in both the making process and the finished form.

The sculpture was press moulded in two halves using the polystyrene end packaging of a radiator heater. Polystyrene is especially bad for the environment in its manufacturing process and in that it doesn’t break down and so remains a permanent waste product.

With some creative thinking, however, this material can be used to model artworks or can be turned into artworks itself.

The surface of Landscape 1 is achieved through pit firing, a method of firing ceramics in the ground using organic materials to achieve the mottled coloured surface. When pit firing I only use materials which are found on the ground – old branches, sticks, pine cones, cow dung and leaves.

Given the fragile state of the future environment this method of firing is also a sustainable way of finishing sculptural and decorative ceramics

The exhibition runs until the 29th August and there are some fantastic ceramic artworks to see, and buy, from over fifty Victorian artists, emerging through to established. So if you are in or near the area it is definitely worth a visit.

Below are some images from opening night….enjoy 🙂


6 thoughts on “Exhibition Opening – Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award 2015

  1. Congratulations Dawn! This is amazing!

    Posted by compcrazy215 | July 17, 2015, 4:24 am
  2. Dawn, first want to say that I truly think these are some of the most beautiful sculptures you’ve made. Secondly, using polystyrene end packaging for press moulds is wildly creative! It scares me to think if we as artists do not find uses for these items like polystyrene – how terrible for the environment a plastic like that truly IS if left to just becoming landfill fodder. The surfaces on your new pieces are just incredible – so it’s not just the beauty of form here. It’s also the added beauty of your clay surfaces. Magnificent!!

    Posted by artdoesmatter | July 22, 2015, 8:32 pm
    • thanks so much Patricia, much appreciated.

      Yes, I have been collecting polystyrene packaging for a while now and have a series in mind, so it is good to have something to work towards.

      Once again, thanks for your generous comments 🙂

      Posted by Dawn Whitehand | July 22, 2015, 8:45 pm


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This work by Dawn Whitehand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.