Metropol Masthead

Rare Earth: Avi Amesbury

HerCanberra Team

When Avi Amesbury was growing up on the edge of dusty desert in Western Australia, she was in awe of the flat horizon that seemed to last forever.

When life took her to Sydney, Avi was enveloped in the urban environment. In Canberra, she was struck by the magical light she says is so unique to the capital. And now, at her home on the South Coast, Avi has fallen in love with the healing bush and very tall trees.

All these places will forever be part of who Avi is and forever influence the ceramics she creates as a professional, full-time artist. And that includes her new body of work showing alongside Rare Earth: Australian Made 2017, on now at the Courtesy of the Artist Loft in Sydney’s Strand Arcade.

Rare Earth—Capturing land and light Series No. 5,  (detail), 2017

Rare Earth—Capturing land and light Series No. 5,
(detail), 2017

“My art celebrates landscape in many ways,” says Avi. “It’s not just emotional connections, it’s the raw materials I forage from the earth—especially clay—which I use to create my work.”

Avi describes herself as an abstract landscape potter. Rare Earth is a perfect match for her ethos since the exhibition is about Australian materials, gems, makers and their contemporary work.

In her new body of work, Avi has created small porcelain bowls, still-life installations and larger vessels titled ‘Capturing Land and Light’—out of materials she literally foraged in Canberra, from the creek running at the bottom of her coastal property, from Newcastle when visiting a potter friend and from visits back to Western Australia.

Rare Earth—Capturing land and light Series No. 4 (detail), 2017

Rare Earth—Capturing land and light Series No. 4 (detail), 2017

She also uses rock ash from a volcano, which her daughter collected while living in New Zealand. “It has produced interesting textures to the work,’ says Avi, “and these contrast with the beautiful translucency of the porcelain.”

The raw material Avi has gathered has surprised her in many ways. “At first I thought I’d only get browns and oranges but I’ve done a lot of research into using the materials and extensive testing,” she says. “I’ve discovered a much larger range of colours, and interesting shades, including greys, blacks, whites and even reds.”

Avi became a full-time practising artist after retiring in 2016 as the Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director of Craft ACT where she launched the Design Canberra Festival. She received a Bachelor of Arts (Visual), with Honours in ceramics from the Australian National University School of Art in 2002.

She has studied and exhibited overseas and her work is represented in permanent collections of the Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery and the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery as well as in private collections in Australia, Japan, Korea and the United States. She is an accredited professional member of Craft ACT and was awarded the Visual Arts Canberra Critics Award in 2016.

Land and Light Series No.1, 2017. Porcelain, volcanic ash, clay from Barragga Bay, NSW

Land and Light Series No.1, 2017. Porcelain, volcanic ash, clay from Barragga Bay, NSW

Avi is thrilled to be focusing full-time on her art practice and excited that her work has been accepted for the 2017 Triennial of Silicate Arts exhibition, called ‘Balance’, being held in September at the Hírös Agóra Cultural Centre in Kecskemét, Hungary (80 kilometres south of Budapest). “It’s all the beginning of another new horizon,” she says.

Rare Earth: Australian Made 2017 exhibition is on until Saturday 29 July at the Courtesy of the Artist Loft in the Strand Arcade (entry through the Pitt Street Mall).

In the meantime, you can follow Avi on Facebook, or visit her website.

All images by Art Atelier Photography


Her Canberra

Sometimes a story is bigger than one person...that's when the HerCanberra Team puts its collective head together to come up with the goods. Enjoy! More about the Author

UNVEILED 10 Leaderboard