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Notes on the work.
All pieces are made with Les Blakebrough’s Southern Ice Porcelain, used either as plastic clay or casting slip. The spherical pieces in the exhibition are thrown.
The oval forms are made from fine cast porcelain sheets. In the ‘Open Wounds’ series gauze has been buried between layers of casting slip, to be torn out while drying, to reveal the texture of bandages. The reference is to a partner dying of cancer. The ‘A4 – from Sally’s Journal’ series refers to the journal she kept in the year or two before her death.
Some of the oval forms include colour. Works in the ‘About Fred’ series look back to pieces Blakebrough made in the 1980s, where glaze trailed across small sections of unglazed surface created windows of colour. Those works were in turn inspired by paintings Fred Williams made at Mittagong in the late 50s, when Blakebrough was an apprentice at Sturt Pottery.
The deep etched process remains an ongoing thread in his work, as in the extended ‘Forest Floor’ and ‘Diamond’ series and the oval form ‘St John at Hackney’, the result of a five month residency in London in 2007.
Southern Ice Porcelain is manufactured by Clayworks at Dandenong Victoria.