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Archive > Sharyn Masson, Garden in the Shade

Exhibition from 6pm, 31 October - 3pm, 13 November 2014

Sharyn Masson (40x40 2013 Winner)

Garden in the Shade

Inspired by the coral reef found in far north queensland, my bespoke pieces were handbuilt using layered and fringed strips of clay. I love the natural properties of the raw materials, especially raku clay, and the changes that the firing can create.

Two main types of clay have been used to produce these exhibited works. The white spherical and flowery pieces have been constructed from Southern Ice Paper clay and White Raku Paper clay. I feel that the corallinus pieces illustrate the fragility of the pallid bleached coral which holds a haunting, lifeless beauty.

My totemic, coral tree, made from a range of raku dark groggy clays, was the result of a couple of factors. I was lucky enough to have the use of a large, gas kiln at the Diamond Valley Art Society and the great firing assistance from Les Huthnance. I have always wanted to "build big" so this prize awarded by BSG was a great impetus to create large pieces.

My work is always textural. This "Totemic Coral Tree" was a pleasure to build as I just played with natural materials and moulded stamps which was added to my spiked, coiling technique. Some green, lizard crawling glaze has been used to resemble lichen or moss. The gas kiln firing brings out the metallic elements in the raku clay which yields a rustic quality to the surface of the tree. I have also used special affects paint on various components of the tree and the vertical garden. Just as the coral is eroding in our seascape, my "Totemic Coral Tree" is seemingly eroding by rust.

The "Coral Vertical Garden" came about because of my memories of snorkelling amongst the coral reef in FNQ. The huge mounds of various types of coral grow on every surface in the seascape which resemble valleys, fields and bouquets of flowers and trees; an octopus's "Garden in the Shade". My main artistic passion lies in the sculptural medium using lots of texture and having fun. My intention is for the viewer to become engaged with the appearance of my work and give more than the average 3 second looksee.