Artist’s Statement on the Ship Form
For some time now I’ve been working with the form of the ship. It has become a potent symbol that continues to grow in its meanings and references.
Initially I was interested in the ship-form because it is primarily a vessel, and working in clay related it to pottery making. But it is a vessel of a different sort. As with all vessels, notions of volume are primary, but so is the notion of containment. In this case the vessel is a container and carrier of ideas.
I’m interested in exploring these and other meanings. While on one the hand the ship has references to mythology, it is also a metaphor for ourselves and how we are in the world, how we as a society live and respond to the issues that confront us, and especially our relationship to the land.
As non-indigenous Australians we are migrants and descendents of migrants. The ships represent us. At the same time the pieces raise questions of our place on this continent – our immigrant background, our loss of culture, our lack of deep generational roots that tie us to place, our modern mobility and our relationship to the environment.
Additionally I’m interested in the importance of direct experience as a way of connecting with place and of developing a sense of belonging and of care. I believe that through direct interaction, through exploring, bushwalking, working on the land one establishes memories and a love of place. It also keeps one fresh and open to the unexpected.
It interests me that forms and shapes relate so directly to what I discover in the landscape. For example, the boat form can also reference leaves, seedpods, lakebeds, mountains or creatures. Turned upside down they resemble the mountains I saw from the air around Alice Springs, the McDonnell ranges.
Large ceramic boat with patinatied bronze glaze and with a porcelain crescent moon insert. (This piece is being held on reserve for the National Gallery of Australia).
Gudrun Klix’s work is held by a number of public institutions in Australia, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Korea, Germany, Hungary, and China, including the Powerhouse Museum; the Art Gallery of Western Australia; the Shepparton Regional Art Gallery; the Kecskemet International Ceramics Studio, Hungary; the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Waterloo, Ontario; Schwabenakademie, Irsee, Germany; the Kreissparkasse Westerwald: Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany; the Institut für Künstlerische Keramik- Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany, the Herbert Kohler Art Collection, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S.A.; and the Dowse Museum, Wellington, NZ
Large ceramic boat with patinated bronze glaze, red sand and porcelain white stick form inserts.
"SALT LAKE COUNTRY"
Medium size terracotta boat form with dry crusty pale yellow glaze.
“WANDERING HANDS” Series ‘Wanderer 1 & 2’
This series was initially shown as an installation at Object galleries Sydney in 1999, displayed on a floor of dried and cracked red clay slip.
The boat like forms are made in a mould with the interiors being stroked by the hand. Their seemingly precarious balance, their fragility and their whiteness combine to suggestive the experience of migrants travelling in the unknown environment of a new land. Their roots suspend the boats above, yet connect them to, the land. In a coastal setting, they carry reference to the rich reproductive mangrove forests.
Gudrun Klix seeks to raise questions about our relationships with place and time, but not to provide definitive answers.
Wanderer 1: $2,300.00
Wanderer 2: $2,000.00