Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I spy with my little eye

Ceramic artist Ann Ferguson creates artworks that explore fundamental connections between earth and all living things, incorporating ideas developed through her work in early childhood education. With 30 years experience as an educator and clay worker Ann’s current body of work, presented in Eye Spy, has evolved through quiet and constant ceramic practise and meditation on the way we learn to inhabit and respond to our surrounding environment.

Working in her studio in Collingwood, Ann uses terracotta, raku and more recently paper clay to create ceramic scenes which encourage us, the viewer and participant, adult or child, to explore our own relationship with landscape.

Historically, toys have often represented the adult world in miniature, giving children the opportunity to imagine and arrange things in a way that includes their perspective. Unlike two dimensional images such as photos or television, which can disconnect a child from an experience, three dimensional forms like those Ann creates, offer engaging, tangible objects with which to explore the physical world.

The clay buildings, trees, land and water of Ann’s sculptures have a multi-sensory effect. The sight, feel and sound of the objects, as they are arranged and rearranged, encourage an intuitive response, an opportunity for imaginative play and the possibility of applying one’s own narrative. Drawing from the earth, in her choice of material as well as subject matter, Ann’s scenes become a primary means through which a child, and indeed an adult, may develop a greater understanding of both the natural and fabricated landscape and their place in it.

Through the handling of earth I am strongly connected with the land and purposeful in finding new forms in which to express my concern about its future. These creative impulses are given new life and form through my work with very young children whose intuitive love of the natural world easily finds expression with clay. Ann Ferguson 2010

panGALLERY plays host to Eye Spy, an exhibition of new work by Ann Ferguson and a satellite event for Craft Victoria's Craft Cubed festival, which this year focuses on 'childhood'.

As well as an opportunity to see Ann's delightful sculptural works, Eye Spy includes a play space where children and adults can touch and play with the work, alongside projected images of artworks children have created when undertaking activities with clay.

Ann Ferguson
Eye Spy
9 to 28 August 2010
opens Sat 7 August 2-4pm

To be opened by Jan Deans
Director of Early Learning Centre
Melbourne University

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