Gallery Talk

Shanley 2015

27 October · Katrina
Shanley 2015

In this eponymously titled exhibition, Lyttelton artist Nichola Shanley presents a collection of glazed and unglazed ceramic vessels reminiscent of ancient artefacts and ritualistic objects – traditional drinking cups, funerary urns, candlesticks, vases. Rich, almost animate in their forms and surfaces, they suggest an instinctive, intuitive act of creation that is an immediate as it is elemental. Practical in their use, provocative in their form, these works breach the traditional boundary between sculptural object and domestic vessel to create a body of work that is both enticing and unsettling, familiar and exotic.

“That crossover between sculptural artefact and domestic form exists in many good clay forms,” says Shanley. “The life is in the textures, the surfaces, the patinas and the history.”

Nichola Shanley studied at the University of Canterbury Ilam School of Fine Arts before graduating from the Auckland Society of Arts with a degree in printmaking. Since then, while working as head of art at Burnside High School, she has continued to imbue her work on paper and, increasingly, on porcelain, with a strong, visceral sense of primitivism.

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