In the service of poetry
& Jilamara Arts
May 19 - Jun 17, 2018
The Koskela Gallery is pleased to present In the service of poetry: recent ceramic sculptures by Jane McKenzie, alongside a series of etchings and original ochre paintings by Jilamara Arts artists Timothy Cook, Janice Pungautiji Murray, Pedro Wonaeamirri, Conrad Tipungwuti and Dino Wilson.
Despite coming from very different worlds, these artworks share an affinity with the red of the earth and beautifully complement one another.
Jane McKenzie is a Sydney-based artist whose ceramic sculptures find their genesis in Modernist architecture. It is not surprising given McKenzie’s artistic practice is backed by a twenty-year career as an architect.
Turning to a visual language that is anchored in form and geometry, McKenzie is influenced by the buildings of Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, and the sculptures of Ruth Duckworth and Isamu Noguchi. She says: ‘The sculptures are not intended to represent buildings, but entice the viewer to look through and around the pieces, and perhaps wonder what it might be like to be inside.’
McKenzie uses slab-building techniques, turning to terracotta clay for its honesty, along with a restricted palette of white and black glazes or surface finishes that contrast with the clay’s natural colour.
Jilamara Arts & Crafts Association is an indigenous owned art centre located in Milikapiti, Melville Island, 100km north of Darwin. Artists at the centre have made a significant contribution to contemporary indigenous art in Australia since the association was established in 1989.
The Tiwi word ‘Jilamara’, which roughly translates to ‘design’, refers to the intricate ochre patterning traditionally applied to the bodies of dancers and the surface of carved poles during the Pukamani funeral ceremony. This ceremony is still a part of community life and continues to inform the current art practice of the Tiwi people. Tiwi work displays its own regionally distinct identity, and varies greatly in form and content from the indigenous art of the Arnhem and Central Desert regions of Australia.