Aakar - Form
An investigation of ceramic form by Bhuvnesh Prasad, Sandra Bowkett and Lene Kuhl Jakobsen.
Opening Friday 17 July 6pm-8pm
Exhibition 18 July – 2 August
Aakar – Form brings together ceramicists Sandra Bowkett (Australia) and Bhuvnesh Prasad (India) and Lene Kuhl Jakobsen (Australia via Denmark).
Sandra and Bhuvnesh first met in India and in 2005 Bhuvnesh came to Australia for the first time at Sandra’s invitation and spent a 2 week residency at studio Qdos in Lorne, during which his interest in moving beyond his Rajasthani traditions become evident. On his current trip to Australia his aim was to experiment with a variety of Australian clays and high fire them in Sandra’s woodfiring kiln using a limited range of glaze. Thus on this visit Bhuvnesh has lived and worked at Sandra’s property near Tallarook in Victoria. The traditional Indian forms Bhuvnesh makes in his home workshop have translated beautifully to the advantages of woodfiring.
Lene and Sandra have a long shared history in clay. Lene began her ceramic career in Denmark in the 70s and arrived in Australia in 1985 to continue her development in both sculptural and functional studio pottery. In the 80s Lene and Sandra shared a small upstairs studio in Brunswick St exploring the colourful midfire of the times, before going on to establish their own studios. Their friendship continued alongside their participation in many ceramic events throughout the years. They have come together again more recently over woodfiring, returning to the more restrained connections with earth and fire. Lene’s experiments in clay and glaze have arrived at her most recent series of works presented here as part of Aakar - Form, work that explores the notion of TERRA making reference to elements such as rock, salt, water and other natural components.
In Aakar – Form these three ceramic artists present an investigation of ceramic form. In Sandra’s woodfire kiln Bhuvnesh’s simple, elegant forms informed by Indian traditions highlight the beauty that occurs when clay and ash under heat alchemize to create luscious rich surfaces. Lene’s handbuilt and assembled pieces are variations on an arched shape rising from a flat base. Other forms are split, subtly decorated, pierced or textured. These works are meant to intrigue as being both from the earth and by the hand and ash from Sandra’s woodfired kiln is a component in two glazes.
The work presented here together is an apt nod to decades of individual yet shared ceramic experience and interest in ceramic form. A history and development of ceramic practice with roots that spans three continents. Form (English), Form (Danish) and Aakar (Hindi for form).
Bhuvnesh Prasad comes from a rich lineage of pottery makers from Alwar District in North Western Rajasthan. He is a 7th generation potter with a rich and varied experience, whose father is a national award winner and pioneer of the art of highly finished double fired terracotta. After graduating with a Diploma from the College of Fine Arts, New Delhi he joined his father’s workshop to thoroughly experience the finer nuances of pottery making. From making what was bread & butter pottery for the various exhibitions that they took part in around the country, he also started wanting to push the limits of form & build extremely large terracotta shapes. During that period he experimented with building forms which were nearly free flowing on both the vertical & horizontal axis. This creative burst also tested his skills, not only in understanding the material he worked with but also techniques for throwing & joinery for large pieces. He received the National Award for Terracotta in 2002. He continues to work in terracotta, making functional pieces and experiment in new forms. He lives and works from Chanakya Place (near Janak Puri) New Delhi.
Download full Bhuvnesh biography
Sandra lives and works near Tallarook, Central Victoria. Her need to make the ‘useable’ has kept her focus on tableware. Currently her works moves between finely handmade porcelain vessels decorated with elemental designs painted in metal oxides and a return to thrown tableware. A three month Asialink residency in India has been pivotal to this recent direction. During these three months she developed, under the tutoring of village potters, a new way of making on the pottery wheel leading to a loosening aesthetic to her thrown forms. A new wood firing kiln is the newest element in her work. The adventure into woodfiring has lead to exploring new clays but revisiting classic glazes. She would like people to have the handmade in their homes and so aims to make objects that are a continual pleasure to use.
Download Sandra biography
Lene Kuhl Jakobsen
Born in Denmark Lene studied ceramic design at Kolding Arts and Craft School from 1974-78. The school’s philosophy emphasized learning by observing nature. Subjects such as drawing, wheel throwing, handbuilding and chemistry were studied delivering a thorough education of ceramic practice. From 1979 Lene worked in a pottery in Copenhagen for several years and developed further skills learning from the other ceramists in a production workshop. During these years she also had the opportunity to develop her own work for exhibition and sale. Holidays were spent travelling in Europe. Living in Northern Norway in 1983-84 Lene assisted a ceramic artist with a large mural as well as producing her own works to sell. Moving to Melbourne in 1985 produced her own work in shared studio facilities as well as teaching pottery classes and establishing her own studio at home in Heidelberg in 1992. Lene chooses to work with high temperature stoneware and porcelain clays fired in an electric kiln. Lene has held several solo exhibitions and has taken part in numerous group exhibitions in Australia and overseas. Lene continues to experiment with clay, glazes and explore decorative techniques in order to continue to develop new styles of work.
Download Lene CV