The latest foyer exhibition at the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery [BRAG] explores the natural world and how it is shaped by extreme heat.
Forged by fire, shaped by time is the first foray into ceramic art by Orange-based artist Joel Tonks, who is also a curative assistant at BRAG.
Mr Tonks said the exhibition was inspired by a series of expeditions at Mount Canobolas [Gaahnabulla] to investigate its unique geological composition.
"All artworks were made using a Japanese technique called 'raku', which involves heating the ceramic up really fast and dunking it into various surface treatments to produce unpredictable results," he said.
"The technique was adopted to reflect the relationship between fire and landscape, and the types of rocks formed from the combination."
The exhibition was, in part, inspired by the 2018 Mount Canobolas fire, which burnt out 1671 hectares of land.
Mr Tonks, who is also a proficient painter and photographer, said 'raku' ceramics are unique in the sense the finished product never turns out the way you plan.
All artworks were made using a Japanese technique called 'raku', which involves heating the ceramic up really fast and dunking it into various surface treatments to produce unpredictable resultsJoel Tonks
"It's more like alchemy than science in many ways, because you plan things out and let fate determine the result," he said.
"You can predict how works will turn out by taking notes, but I'm very new to the ceramics medium so I'm learning as I go along."
Mr Tonks' works take on a variety of shapes, including standard vases, bottles and banksia pods.
He even recently made a vase based on the iconic Victoria Bitter stubbie bottle.
"I like to add plenty of whimsy and imagery to my art, and I hope BRAG visitors embrace something new and interesting from this exhibition as I have," Mr Tonks said.
"There's an interesting materialism about them; the artworks don't have a great deal of thought behind them but, as the old saying goes, art is subjective."
The Forged by fire, shaped by time exhibition features 31 separate artworks, 27 of which are available for purchase.
Forged by fire, shaped by time will be on display in the BRAG Foyer Space until October 11.
Entry is free during standard gallery operating hours [Tuesday to Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday to Sunday 11am-2pm].
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