Tuesday 22 March 2011

Studio visit: Kris Coad

Our maker of the month this March is renowned Melbourne-based ceramicist Kris Coad. Working from her Gasworks studio in Albert Park, Kris has been a practicing ceramicist for over 20 years, dividing her time between her studio practice and being an educator. For the last few years Kris has worked full time in her studio, based at the Gas Works Art Park. Kris produces ceramic pieces for exhibition, a translucent porcelain tableware range for selected retail and pieces for commission.

In 2002 Kris was awarded a Masters of Fine Art by Research RMIT. During the same year she was the only Australian honoured at the Sydney Myer Fund International Ceramic Award Shepparton Art Gallery.

Kris has exhibited in over 70 exhibitions including the 3rd World Ceramic Biennale Korea, Dianne Tanzer Gallery Melbourne, Manly Museum and Art Gallery Sydney and Craft Victoria. Her work has featured in many magazines, journals and custom books including Ceramics Art and Perception International, The Journal of Australian Ceramics, Ceramics Monthly USA, Hand Made in Melbourne, Donna Hay, Vogue Living, Vogue Entertaining and Travel and Gourmet USA.

Her work has been acquired for public collections including Icheon World Ceramic Centre Korea, Parliament House Canberra, Shepparton Art Gallery, Manly Museum & Art Gallery as well as private collections within Australia and overseas.

Kris is interested in the spiritual and daily ritual of different cultures, the way an object, symbol, mark or shadow and its placement can trigger an emotional response. To interpret the anthropological sentiment behind beliefs, she makes contemplative pieces that have a stillness and silence in an increasingly complex world.

What attracted you to ceramics in the beginning? Was it something you were always interested in?

I have always liked working in clay: the feel of the medium and what you can do with it.

How do you distinguish between your production and exhibition work conceptually, and how do you view your relationship between these two streams?

I make the tableware to be used, to be a part of the ritual of eating and drinking.

The exhibition pieces are more conceptual, a thought or something I have read or felt. The two streams of work are linked, they are both made from translucent clay. The seeing, or hint of what is in side through light and shadow, is very important to the work.

You’ve travelled extensively throughout Asia... what inspiration have you brought back that you’ve applied to your practice? Where are you hoping to go next?

I am interested in the spiritual and daily ritual of different cultures. I draw on my experiences from my travels for inspiration for my work. Next? I will keep you posted.....

What exhibitions/projects/commissions are you currently working towards?

I am just completing a commission for a private office in Melbourne CBD (pictured below). It's a five metre double sided screen made up of over 1,000 bone china leaves.

What has been an all-time career highlight for you?
Probably the last project I worked on, as it always leads you to the next!

If you could travel back to when you were at La Trobe Uni to give yourself advice, what would it be?

Focus and do not doubt yourself, it is all possible!

And finally, where do you look for inspiration?
My inspiration generally comes from travel and reading.

Click here to view more photos.

A long time supplier of Craft Victoria, a large selection of the Kris Coad porcelain tableware range is available to buy from our SHOP. These green glazed round dishes stand apart from the range and are available in 3 sizes. Click here to visit the SHOP!

To learn more about Kris and her work, visit her website.

Photography by Kim Brockett

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