Lively Botanicals and Organic Forms Cloak Juz Kitson’s Ceramic Vessels in Dense Topographies — Colossal

Home / Lively Botanicals and Organic Forms Cloak Juz Kitson’s Ceramic Vessels in Dense Topographies — Colossal
Lively Botanicals and Organic Forms Cloak Juz Kitson’s Ceramic Vessels in Dense Topographies — Colossal




Art
Craft

#ceramics
#Juz Kitson
#nature
#plants
#porcelain
#sculpture

March 16, 2023

Grace Ebert

A photo of a blush pink ceramic vessel covered with floral, fungal, botanical, and other organic forms

“You are stronger than you think, You are more than you know,” stoneware, raku, oxides, multiple glazes, fired multiple times, 77 x 39 x 37 centimeters. All photos by Simon Hewson, © Juz Kitson, shared with permission

Focused on movement and vitality, artist Juz Kitson sculpts supple vessels that harness the lively qualities of Earth’s landscapes. Densely packed with pieces mimicking flowers, fungi, moss, coral, and other organisms, the shapely works “feel like they are pulsating, giving inanimate material a spark of life,” Kitson tells Colossal. Medium and subject matter both nod to the natural process of regeneration and rebirth, with the “malleable, composite of Earth, water, and fire inherently (carrying) the imprint of memory.”

After many years of an itinerant practice that allowed her to travel frequently, Kitson settled in Milton, New South Wales, at the beginning of the pandemic. Given mass uncertainty and closed borders, she simultaneously had to shutter the studio she occupied for nearly a decade in Jingdezhen, China. Much of her work reflects a mélange of these two environments.

Often sculpted from Jingdezhen porcelain, the vessels are topographic and evoke the rugged coastlines and bush of the artist’s native Australia alongside the mountains and lush jungles of East Asia. “I have a deep fascination and attention to detail, constantly observing, exploring, walking through landscapes and creating visual mind maps of surfaces, layers, crevices, and abundant metamorphic forms that will later feed into the works I make,” she says.

 

Two photos of ceramic vessels covered with floral, fungal, botanical, and other organic forms, the left is black, the right is pink

Left: “All will reveal itself when you dive in and dive in deep, No. 3” (2022), black midfire clay, raku, stoneware, and oxides, 76 x 36 x 34 centimeters. Right: “An abundance of possibilities” (2022), raku, earthenware clay, and various glazes, 65 x 40 x 42 centimeters

Often monochromatic, many of the sculptures are glazed in a clear coat, blush, or black. The latter, especially on Kitson’s urn-like vessels, directly connects to the charred remains of Australia’s bush following the disastrous fires of 2019. At the time, the artist had just purchased her house and studio, which she refused to abandon despite mass evacuations. She shares:

I had just bought my first home, and here I was, standing protecting it by drenching it with a hose, watering my house and soon-to-be studio to protect it from the flames that were only three kilometers away…(I started) a series of funerary urns as a lament for the summer wildfires that devastated the landscape and has seen a region still mourning the loss of vegetation, homes, animals, and lives lost in which the pandemic overshadowed.

If you’re in Australia, there are several opportunities to view Kitson’s works in person, including a July solo exhibition at Sophie Gannon Gallery in Richmond, Victoria, and group shows at Craft Victoria opening in May, Hazelhurst Arts Centre in July, and Sydney Contemporary Art Fair in September. You can also find more on her site and Instagram.

 

A detail photo of a blush pink ceramic vessel covered with floral, fungal, botanical, and other organic forms

Detail of “You are stronger than you think, You are more than you know,” stoneware, raku, oxides, multiple glazes, fired multiple times, 77 x 39 x 37 centimeters

A detail photo of several ceramic wall pieces glazed in black and metallic

Detail of “When the sun comes out, the moon disappears, No. IV” (2022), Jingdezhen porcelain, stoneware, midfire, black stoneware, scava, raku, various glazes, lustre, fired multiple times, 70 x 84 x 15 centimeters

A detail photo of several ceramic wall pieces glazed in black

Detail of “When the sun comes out, the moon disappears, No. IV” (2022), Jingdezhen porcelain, stoneware, midfire, black stoneware, scava, raku, various glazes, lustre, fired multiple times, 70 x 84 x 15 centimeters

A detail photo of a black ceramic vessel covered with floral, fungal, botanical, and other organic forms

Detail of “All will reveal itself when you dive in and dive in deep, No. 3” (2022), black midfire clay, raku, stoneware, and oxides, 76 x 36 x 34 centimeters

A detail photo of several ceramic wall pieces glazed in white and a greenish hue

Detail of “The conditions of possibility” (2022), porcelain, stoneware, raku, various glazes, fired multiple times, 47 x 51 x 14 centimeters

Two photos of a ceramic vessel covered in organic forms that appear to crawl upward toward the top in a purple to pink gradient

A detail photo of ceramic, fungal forms glazed in maroon

A full photo and detail shot of a white ceramic vessel covered with floral, fungal, botanical, and other organic forms

“The Sanctuary; All That Is Monument” (2021), Jingdezhen porcelain and timber, 120 x 45 x 58 centimeters

A photo of a mixed-media work with feathers, ceramic, and glass hanging on a wall

“The Future is Your Ocean Oyster, No. II” (2023), Jingdezhen porcelain, reclaimed vintage rabbit fur coat, hand-formed Murano glass, Indonesian recycled building glass, hand-blown glass, resin, marine ply, and treated pine, 91 x 96 x 55 centimeters

#ceramics
#Juz Kitson
#nature
#plants
#porcelain
#sculpture

 

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