A creative contingent drawn from Charles Darwin University (CDU) is helping to shape Australia’s flagship ceramics conference against the backdrop of the Northern Territory for the first time this year.
The 16th Australian Ceramics Triennale, titled Apmere Mparntwe, spans two national ceramics exhibitions and three days of conference presentations, masterclasses and workshops, a ceramics market, performances and events.
Triennale lead programmer and CDU Visual Arts Lecturer, Melanie Robson, said the Triennale is a landmark event that enables CDU students and educators to gain national exposure for their work.
“The Triennale is an incredible opportunity for CDU students to exhibit alongside some of the Northern Territory’s most established artists, and for students to get national exposure for their work before artists, curators and collectors from some of the country’s major art galleries,” Ms Robson said.
The Alice Springs-based event will showcase the ceramic works of CDU students and alumni, as well as CDU lecturers in a suite of exhibitions, with the Triennale expected to attract more than 500 ceramic experts and enthusiasts from across the country.
CDU visual arts students Gretel Bull and Anke Klevjer, and CDU alumna Vanessa Sim will exhibit in ‘Mono no aware’ at the Central Australian Aviation Museum during the Triennale, which opens on Saturday, 23 July from 10am to 4pm.
“The Triennale is giving us a tremendous amount of exposure, presenting to an audience of that scale. It provides the opportunity to expand our professional networks, meet with other artists, and learn from masters in the field of ceramics,” Miss Bull said.
Echoing Miss Bull’s enthusiasm is CDU alumna and Mono no aware co-exhibitor, Miss Sim.
“The Triennale is a great opportunity for current students, as emerging artists, to gain experience in the wider ceramics community, and to get to know other artists and event organisers in Alice Springs and across the Northern Territory,” Miss Sim said.
“I’m excited to see all these different people from across the continent in one place and to be learning together, and I'm excited about the event’s emphasis on First Nations people in Central Australia.”
The works of these CDU students are also being presented in the Terra exhibition at Central Craft for the duration of the Triennale.
Another exhibition, Clay on Country, features the art of 30 Central Australian artists, including works by Miss Sim, CDU student Mikaila Rogers, and CDU Visual Art Lecturers and esteemed ceramicists Mel Robson and Emma Franklin.
Clay on Country showcases the works of artists living in Alice Springs, as well as those who create from studios on long desert roads throughout the Pitjantjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra Lands.
The Mugs on Mugs project developed by CDU lecturer Ms Franklin and Miss Sim sees ceramicists make and donate a mug, featuring a portrait, which are exhibited and sold through the Bath House Studios during the Triennale.
Proceeds from the mugs are donated to the Strong Grandmothers of the Central Desert, who advocate for ‘kids in country, not in custody.’
CDU also held Triennale masterclass workshops led by acclaimed ceramicists, Greg Daly and Janet DeBoos. The workshops focused on glaze development and surface decoration at the University's Alice Springs campus.
Plus, Hermannsburg Potters have developed a new range of homewares as part of their CDU VET studies in Visual Arts Certificate II that is being launched during the Triennale. The Apmere Mparntwe Market Place at the Araluen Cultural Precinct is running from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, 23 July.
The 16th Australian Ceramics Triennale: Apmere Mparntwe runs from Tuesday, July 19 to Saturday, July 23. Find more information here