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Cathy Franzi

Cathy Franzi
Artist's statement

I investigate ways in which representations of Australian flora on ceramic vessels can communicate ideas about the current environment. My initial training was in science, informing the botanical approach I take to my subject. However it is the love of being in nature that gives me a passion for making - to find ways to express the character of each unique plant and the diversity, and fragility, of environments they inhabit.

I explore representation primarily through techniques of carving into the clay surface, particularly sgraffito, in which colour is layered over the surface and then carved to reveal the porcelain body below. The immediacy of the mark making and the textural and graphic qualities of this approach I believe suit the expression of plants of a dry climate. In 2009 I developed a relief printmaking style of sgraffito, where I treat the soft clay surface like a three-dimensional lino block. In this way the residual colour and grooves in the background contribute to the textural representation of plant and environment.

In my recent research through my PhD candidacy, I have drawn upon the historical use of Australian flora on ceramic objects to develop a current approach to their use, finding parallels with botanical and environmental knowledge. This has led to an engagement with botanical research facilities to understand my subject more deeply. The outcome of this research has been a conceptual shift in my work, where wheel-thrown vessels, imagery and groupings become a metaphorical space in which to reflect environmental culture.

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Recent work
62 Orchids: Black Mountain, detail
  • 62 Orchids: Black Mountain, detail, 2015
  • Porcelain, wheel-thrown, ink inlay, glaze
  • Dimensions: 37 x 1400 x 1200 cm
  • Photo: Andrew Sikorski
The Sanctuary
  • The Sanctuary, 2014
  • Porcelain, stoneware, engobe, sgraffito, glaze
  • Dimensions: 28 x 54 x 40 cm
  • Photo: Andrew Sikorski
The Ephemeral Dampiera fusca: Tinderry Range
  • The Ephemeral Dampiera fusca: Tinderry Range, 2014
  • Porcelain, wheel-thrown, engobe, sgraffito, glaze
  • Dimensions: 14 x 18 x 19 cm
  • Photo: Andrew Sikorski
Lambertia
  • Lambertia, 2013
  • Porcelain, wheel-thrown, engobe, sgraffito, glaze
  • Dimensions: 14 x 13 x 11 cm
  • Photo: Andrew Sikorski

Golden Hill, detail from Painting the Hills of Canberra
  • Golden Hill, detail from Painting the Hills of Canberra, 2013
  • Porcelain, wheel-thrown, engobe, sgraffito, glaze, gold lustre
  • Dimensions: 19 x 28 x 28 cm
  • Photo: Andrew Sikorski
Canberra Bells
  • Canberra Bells, 2013
  • Porcelain, wheel-thrown, engobe, sgraffito, glaze, gold lustre
  • Dimensions: 30 x 50 x 15 cm
  • Photo: Andrew Sikorski

Like Cathy's work? You can buy a gift card!

Biography

Cathy Franzi is a Canberra-based ceramic artist who graduated with a Master of Visual Arts at ANU School of Art in 2010, receiving the Nelson Nichols Scholarship in Ceramics. Since 2011 she has been a PhD candidate at the ANU, undertaking research into ways the representation of Australian flora on ceramic vessels can communicate botanical and environmental knowledge. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney, and this background informs the focus to her art practice. Franzi has travelled extensively, working in the ceramics field in Ireland, the UK and New Zealand. In 2013, Canberra’s centenary year, a work from her solo exhibition ‘Painting the Hills of Canberra’ was included in the Canberra Centenary Time Capsule. Her work is held in public collections including Canberra Museum and Gallery, the ACT Legislative Assembly Art Collection and Manly Art Gallery and Museum. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, notably the Doug Alexander Award in 2012.

Selected exhibitions
2015:   Islands & Corridors, ANU School of Art Gallery - Canberra
2014:   The Arid Zone, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra
2014:   The Course of Objects, Manly Art Gallery and Museum - Sydney
2014:   Art and Environment in a Suitcase Exhibition, ANU Travelling Exhibition - Canberra
2014:   Contemporary Porcelain, Kerry Lowe Gallery - Sydney
2013:   Painting the Hills of Canberra, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra
2013:   Inhabit: living design, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra
2013:   Bega Country Show, Bega Regional Gallery - Bega, NSW
2012:   Canberra Bells and Ginninderra Peppercress, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra
2012:   Signature, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre - Canberra
2011:   Material Matters, Australian National University School of Art Gallery - Canberra
2011:   Graduate Season 1, Australian National University School of Art Gallery - Canberra
2011:   Student/Teacher Exhibition, Watson Arts Centre - Canberra
2010:   Up in Smoke, Clay Energy Conference - Gulgong, NSW
2010:   Canberra Potters’ Society Annual Exhibition, Watson Arts Centre - Canberra
2010:   Student/Teacher Exhibition, Watson Arts Centre - Canberra
2009:   Canberra Potters’ Society Annual Exhibition, Watson Arts Centre - Canberra
2009:   Student/Teacher Exhibition, Watson Arts Centre - Canberra
2006:   Impact, Watling Galleries - Brisbane
2005:   Thermocouple, Watson Arts Centre Gallery - Canberra
Selected commissions/awards/grants
2015:   Australian Postgraduate Award (PhD)
2013:   CraftACT Award, Canberra Potters’ Society Annual Exhibition
2012:   Doug Alexander Award, Canberra Potters’ Society Annual Exhibition
2010:   Tertiary Student Merit Award, Canberra Potters' Society Annual Exhibition
2010:   Master of Visual Arts (Ceramics), ANU
2009:   Nelson Nichols Scholarship in Ceramics, Australian National University School of Art
2009:   Tertiary Student Merit Award, Canberra Potters' Society Annual Exhibition
2009:   Reserve Champion, RNCA Show
2006:   Overall Champion, First prize RNCA Show, Canberra
2006:   Merit Award, Canberra Potters' Society Annual Exhibition
2004:   Merit Award, Canberra Potters’ Society Annual Exhibition
2002:   Walker Ceramics Award, Canberra Potters' Society Annual Exhibition
1984:   Bachelor of Science, University of Sydney
Selected publications
2014:   Franzi, C., Botanical Ceramics, Ceramics Ireland, 32, Ceramics Ireland, pp12-14
2014:   Art and Environment in a Suitcase Exhibition, Seed Broadcast Journal, USA, www.seedbroadcast.org, p12
2013:   Franzi, C., Ceramics and The Australian Botanical Narrative, Journal of Australian Ceramics, 52/3, The Australian Ceramics Association, pp38-44
2011:   Craft Australia, Porcelain seed boxes, 'endlings' and other mysteries of form, Tale of Adventure, Craft Australia newsletter and website
2011:   Franzi, C., Two Communities – the Language of Clay, Journal of Australian Ceramics 50/3, The Australian Ceramics Association, pp76-77
2006:   Journal of Australian Ceramics, Issue 45, No. 1
2006:   Gallery Section, Journal of Australian Ceramics 45/1 The Australian Ceramics Association, p81
2005:   Journal of Australian Ceramics, Issue 44, No. 1
2005:   Franzi, C., President Profile, Journal of Australian Ceramics 44/1, The Australian Ceramics Association, p6
2005:   Franzi, C., Society Profile, Journal of Australian Ceramics 44/1, The Australian Ceramics Association, pp7-9
1996:   Franzi, C., Time for Tea, Pottery in Australia 35/4, The Potters’ Society of Australia, pp36-37
1996:   Franzi, C., Harford, C., Potting in Thailand, Ceramic Review 157, Ceramic Review Publishing, pp32-34

 

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