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find: Visual Arts Australia

Ruth Park  

ceramics, Australia

E.W. Pot 40 cm high, terra sigillata surface, and white terra sigillata brush
work decoration on the top.

Tri Pod Form, 20 cm x 20 cm, terra sigillata surface with gold fleck. Pit fired.

I was born in 1960, graduated in 1980 from The Riverina College of Advanced Education (now Charles Sturt University) with a Diploma in Applied Art. In 1981 I completed a Graduate Diploma in Education from Sydney Teachers College and in 1989 graduated with a Diploma in Ceramic Design from the Chisholm Institute of Technology (now Monash University) in Melbourne. My vessels shown here represent work created during this time. My objective during this period was to explore the possibilities of ceramic surface and whilst simplicity of form and function predominate it marks a point at which making a statement becomes integral to my work.

Night Sky, Large wheel thrown Vessel, 40 cm high x 30cm wide, airgrushed terra sigillata mauves pinks & blues.

The Peace Pot, 1986, wheel thrown, carved and pierced body
and raku fired glaze.

Symbolic of our world and its countries, The Peace Pot, embodies a candle. Its flame, when lit, flickers light through the delicately pierced holes to create an atmosphere of unity. This piece was inspired by the Bahá´í prayer "O God. Grant that the light of unity may envelop the whole earth."
In this way the prayer for world peace is articulated into a material form. It was envisaged that this piece could be mass produced and used during Bahá´í Feasts to aid in the creation of a spiritual atmosphere.

Stoneware ornamental tea pot, 1991,
using a Celadon glaze (a traditional Japanese glaze) known for its enhancing pooling qualities on raised areas (such as on carving or fluting).

Tri Pod Form, Terra Sigillata Surface.
Pit Fired 1000.

A strong Middle Eastern influence is reflected in much of the work created during this period. This is due in part to the strong influence of the Middle Eastern ceramic tradition on the Western aesthetic but for me in particular it reflects the strong historical association the Western Bahá´í community has with Persian Art and culture. This is reflected in the artefacts of many Western Bahá´í's homes and holy books.

The Greatest Name Jewellry Box, Wheel thrown Carved and pierced. 13000 Matt Barium Glaze Gold Lustre.

Bowl, Thrown & carved. Terra Sigillata surface,
pit Fired 1000.

Since 1999 my work has taken a more sculptural form. Large figurative works explore issues related to the aesthetics of the female form.

In 2002 I completed a Masters Degree in Fine Art at the University of Newcastle NSW where I researched the effects of the Western female beauty ideal on the traditional aesthetic of women from different cultures. It documented the homogenisation of the Western aesthetic around the world and the bizarre lengths women will go in order to change inherent racial characteristics to conform with the Western female body ideal.
The voluptuous sometimes-obese female nude functions as a metaphor for human diversity and makes reference to the ethical dimensions involved when one cultures aesthetic is allowed to dominates the cultures of others.

Email address:

  • Ceramic:ceramic with calligraphy, Arts Dialogue, December 1999
  • Ceramic: ceramic pot, E.W. pot, June 1999
  • Ceramic: ceramic pot, The Peace Pot, Arts Dialogue, June 1997
  • Ceramic: ceramic pot, Stoneware Ornamental Tea Pot, Arts Dialogue, March 1996
  • Letter: Arts interest at the Assn. Bahá´í Studies Australia conference, September 1992
  • Ceramic: ceramic pot, BAFA newsletter June 1992
  • 3 illustrations of ceramic pots, BAFA newsletter June 1992
  • Letter: The economic recession and the arts, BAFA newsletter March 1992
  • Letter: in response to Sonja van Kerkhoff's letter, BAFA newsletter July 1990

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