I guess it's been longer than I thought since I've posted any sort of Artist Profiles...my to-do list grows forever longer. But today I have a minute to show you the work of Joanne Searle. I met Jo years ago now and was intrigued by her work from the beginning. Back then she used to make these beautiful porcelain sticks that were actually built using printmaking techniques on slipcast slabs and then rolling the paper thin porcelain into the rounded forms. They were lovely and brought to mind all of the collecting we do as children (many of us still as adults too!) of miscellaneous objects out in nature or in our daily travels. I remember going through a stage myself of collecting rusted discarded metal pieces from around the city. Nuts and bolts and bits that had fallen off passing cars. I think Jo taps into this process of collecting and form of cataloguing of objects or images as a means of representing space and time, of perhaps the passing of time as marked by the natural objects she references and their various stages of life and decay. Her new work has embarked on a new direction with a new form to display the imagery.
Here's a bit of her own words describing the new form found in her works:
"Intrinsic to an egg is its complete and uninterrupted form. These qualities invite the viewer to continually trace and map over the form. The viewer can enter and exit easily while establishing notions of discovery, inquiry and mapping. I have used the egg as a vehicle to explore the origins of my ideas, to record & remember place and try to emulate my personal experience & connection with nature.
My use of the egg form with its inherent meaning and significance overlap and parallel the ideas surrounding my drawing. Collectively they exist as a compilation of observations, memory and the imagined. Residues of place and emotion coincide with photographic records
The early stages of the work were developed through field trips, often returning to the same site or collecting mementos from sites. It became apparent to me when I returned, that I was preoccupied with the changes that had taken place on the skin of nature."
I met Jo when living in Canberra Australia and at the time remember being quite taken by alot of the work produced by artists in the region representing nature in their work. About 6 months before I had arrived a horrible bushfire had destroyed a large section of outlying land around Canberra, had killed a large population of wildlife and had even damaged parts of the city. It had a profound effect on the residents and had strengthen their already intimate ties to nature.
Jo Searle currently works at the Australian National University and can be contacted through the Distance Ceramics Program office if you're interested in her work.