Australian artists John Carozza and Tanja Stark delve into mysterious depths with their exhibition of paintings and sculpture [I dreamt of the] Blue Lobster, which opened in Brisbane on Saturday night, February 3rd at Gallery 61, QACI, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane and runs until February 17.
Inspired by the sea, John Carozza’s ethereal paintings offer glimpses of worlds beneath the surface, his canvases richly layered, scraped, painted and washed until an image emerges. It is an aesthetic John, who also lectures at the Queensland Academy of Creative Industries, has been developing for nearly 25 years.
Blue Lobster also features mixed media artist Tanja Stark’s intriguing ceramic sculptures the Sublime Vessels. Hand built in porcelain and earthenware, these archetypal forms are infused with curves intuitively forming spines and sails, flowing across hidden chambers that seem to exude the rhythms of life. Her current move into ceramics, an art form anchored around the transformation of the properties of earth through heat and fire, extends upon previous bodies of work in mixed media and painting that has often incorporated the symbolic motif of fire with the physical burning of paperbark, wood, paper and bones. Yet where her previous oeuvre swirled with gothic undercurrents, the new forms are imbued with a sense of calm strength, beauty and transcendence.
The exhibition evokes a sense of beauty, strength, vulnerability and transcendence, echoing one of natures rarest creatures, the almost mythic blue lobster as it transforms itself again and again under the liquid sea.
By appt weekdays, 9am -12pm Saturday till Feb 17 2018
I write, I read, I wonder.
I think conceptually, I dream archetypally.
I create symbolically.
I make art as much as art makes me.
Born in Mackay, Tanja Stark works as an artist from a bush studio in Brisbane’s western suburbs. Working across painting, mixed media, ceramics and sculpture, her work is infused with archetype and symbolism as she explores contemporary expressions of ancient themes and form. Stark has worked in art and design, writing, research and therapeutic practice. She has exhibited and presented internationally around creativity and psychology, and her arts writing commissioned for projects published by Bloomsbury and Routledge Press.
there is something deeply elemental about clay it is a primal substance
pulsating with ghosts of ancient makers
of hands that shaped forms and vessels filled kilns and stoked furnaces
of creations immersed in the fire and heat transmuting wet earth into permanence
a sacred alchemy
these vessels emerged between the ocean and the bush
the elemental essences of water wind earth fire
infusing beautifully mysterious forms
raw organic sensual strong : smooth flowing light pure
the vessels hint at journeys of transformation
gestation and creation, freedom and flow
echoing archetypal forms of the feminine,
hints of the masculine,
traces of the androgynE
their curves intuitively forming
spines and sails
flowing across hidden chambers
exuding the rhythms of life
as they permeate the realm
of symbol and myth
large hand built earthenware and pigment clay vessels : 370
small hand built earthenware and pigment clay vessels : 150
large white hand built and carved porcelain vessels : 370
small hand built and carved white porcelain vessels : 150
small slip cast white porcelain vessels : 90