Bundle of Ntaria branches 4
Yasmin Smith’s site-specific, socially engaged, conceptual ceramics practice is centred around natural materials. It often starts by looking at the broader landscape as social and geographical construct and then placing the work at the meeting of culture and nature. Often, she extracts, though both simple and complicated means, raw clay from the ground which she uses to shape natural and found forms – branches, discarded metal – using casts made from the objects themselves, and at 1-to-1 scale. Works are then fired and glazed using similar natural material such as salt or wood-ash. From this the landscape becomes the work and the artist surrenders to the chance and alchemy of the kiln.
'Bundle of Ntaria branches' are works that were generated as part of a larger installation 'Ntaria fence' (2015). Ntaria is the Aboriginal name of the community of Hermannsburg where in 2014 the artist lived and worked. "I was living in a house in Ntaria that was surrounded by a fence that had all of these branches stuck to it…Formally, I saw that fence in the landscape and I wanted to appreciate the object for what it was. And I started thinking about how I could use the materials themselves, rather than just try and reproduce it."
In these works, which Smith has described as being central to her ongoing broader project around materials and place, the branches were cast from the branches on the fence and the ash glaze was made using ash sourced from Ntaria cooking fires. Thus, the objects now are not just about the landscape, but also part of it.
mid-fire slip with Hermannsburg wood ash glaze (River Red Gum, Mulga, Palm Tree), black copper oxide wash, electrical wire
18.0 x 102.0 x 25.0 cm (irreg.)
Vicki Grima Ceramics Fund 2020
Not on display
© Yasmin Smith
Shown in 1 exhibition
Yasmin Smith: Ntaria fence, The Commercial Gallery, Marrickville, 10 Jul 2015–01 Aug 2015