Registration now open for Subversive Clay – 2012 Australian Ceramics Trienniale

The theme for this conference is ‘Subversive Clay’ and over four days it will explore clay as a medium capable of challenging artistic, social and cultural issues through an investigation across past traditions and invigorating new experimentations.

Representing excellence in contemporary clay practice from around the world, the conference will consider how ceramic artists contest traditional approaches to clay as a medium, as an important art form, and thus its role in society.

“On behalf of Craftsouth and the South Australian ceramics community I am pleased to introduce the 2012 Australian Ceramics Triennale and invite you to join us in Adelaide from 28th September to 1st October.

This will be the 13th National Ceramics Conference and we are proud to present an exciting program that brings together leading national and international ceramics practitioners, educators, collectors, critics and cultural theorists in celebrating diversity, plus social and cultural approaches to this field.”
Peter Johnson, Chair, Ceramics Triennale Steering Committee

Sophia Phillips (Ceramic Artist) goes on further to say … “’Subversive Clay’ will explore clay as a medium capable of challenging artistic, social and cultural issues through investigating past traditions and invigorating future experimentation.

The field of ceramics has a long history of ducking trends and laying its own path in the world of the visual arts. The physical versatility of clay means it is not a medium easily confined to set definitions or aesthetics. It is that slipperiness, both literal and figurative, which makes clay an excellent vehicle for the subversion of accepted norms, as well as an extraordinarily useful material.

The term ‘subversive clay’ initially leads one to think of the socio-cultural narratives and commentaries explored by many ceramic artists. However there are other quiet ways in which clay and ceramic artists subvert assumptions within and outside the field … sometimes ideas are forgotten or mistaken for one thing, when in fact they are another, or both. The contradictions, confusions and passionate disagreements over ‘The Vessel’, ‘Skill’ and the ‘Is it Art or Craft’ question (to name a few) are part and parcel of the ‘clay-game’ along with unkempt nails and questionable footwear. These points of friction are integral to development, exploration and the expansion of knowledge – and ultimately such discussions are about shaking up assumptions.”
Sophia Phillips 2011

The Speakers and Artists program will be a melting pot of debates and presentations around the important discourses within the ceramics and wider artworld, and a focal point for discussion on how the craft and its variety of practitioners are evolving to meet new challenges. The conference program will consist of keynote speakers followed by chaired panels. Akio Takamori and Masamichi Yoshikawa will lead Masterclasses in the week prior to the conference. There will be demonstrations running throughout the conference weekend at the JamFactory, University of South Australia and Adelaide College of the Arts, TAFE SA. We have over 18 artists doing demonstrations including such names as Prue Venables, Gerry Wedd, Phil Hart, Merran Esson, Ernabella, just to name a few.Find out more on their website and register today!