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Process diary

Matilda Leake

Pymble Ladies’ College

Artwork title
The fire's mark: Japanese tradition meets Western expressionism
HSC year
Expressive form
Artist’s statement

In order to create a piece of ceramic art one must submit a raw clay form, a product of hours of labour, skill and knowledge, to the force of fire. But it is the unpredictable nature of wood-firing that adds a sense of excitement, even risk, to each piece. My work explores the traditional Japanese wood-firing process coupled with an expressionistic and abstract treatment of clay. This subversion from function is an attempt to celebrate clay’s potential as an art form by tackling verticality, typically identified with a canvas or gallery space.

Collection connections

Define the relationship between the functional and aesthetic object. Does this definition differ when considering Japanese and Western traditions? Can an object be seen as an artwork if it also has a functional role?

In Japan in the early 20th century the modern concept of individualism encouraged many young artists to work in ceramics as a medium of self-expression. How have Suzuki Osamu and Matilda Leake expressed a sense of individualism in their work?

Research the techniques of ceramics. Create a body of work inspired by your research, consciously incorporating a sense of individualism and self-expression.