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Pippin Drysdale and Warrick Palmateer together at the John Curtin Gallery

Media release

The John Curtin Gallery brings together the ceramic artworks of Pippin Drysdale and Warrick Palmateer for the first time in an exclusive joint exhibition that explores their unique collaboration and showcases exciting new work from each artist.

These significant new bodies of work, created especially for this exhibition, which runs until December 2, contrast each artist’s own distinctive passion for different aspects of Australia’s natural environment and their decades long obsession with perfection.

John Curtin Gallery Director Chris Malcolm said the exhibition interrogates the unique and highly successful relationship between the artists, who are both Curtin University graduates, as well as showcasing groundbreaking new forms.

“Confluence honours and explores the compelling collaborative processes through which these two artists are able to conjure some of the most breathtaking ceramic forms being made in Australia today.  The ceramic works in Confluence boldly contrast each artist’s distinctive aesthetic language and celebrates their passion for different aspects of Australia’s natural environment that so deeply informs their work,” Mr Malcolm said.

Pippin Drysdale is widely considered one of Australia’s foremost ceramic artists and was formally recognised as one of Western Australia’s State Living Treasures in 2015.  Over a career spanning four decades, Drysdale has developed a significant international reputation for her distinctive vessels, drawing inspiration in recent decades from the ancient landscapes of Australia’s interior desert country.

She regularly exhibits internationally and her work is held in major private and public collections across Australia and throughout the world.  Her latest ceramic forms include suites of Devils Marbles, inspired by the striking rock formations in the Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, a significant Aboriginal sacred site in Australia’s central Northern Territory. The porcelain forms that constitute Drysdale’s installations engage with a fresh, comprehensive and daring colour palette that evokes surreal and ‘magical’ desert light effects.  This series also highlights Drysdale’s shift from displays of single pots to installations of groups of vessels.

Warrick Palmateer has been a practicing potter for over thirty years. He has been collaborating with Pippin Drysdale for the past twenty-five years during which time he’s become increasingly responsible for the manual production of Drysdale’s open and closed forms, all thrown on the wheel in her Fremantle studio. While they have consistently collaborated through this special partnership, Palmateer has also steadily cultivated his own distinctive arts practice.

Palmateer’s most recent body of work, produced exclusively for Confluence, is an assembly of vessels, gargantuan in scale and boldly visceral in their physical presence and material relationship to the artist’s coastal home north of Perth.  Working in partnership with a local industrial brick maker, Palmateer’s pots are formed on such an unprecedented scale, they required some of Australia’s largest brick kilns to fully realise the artist’s ambitions. Celebrating the liminal coastal spaces so inspiring to him, Palmateer’s work challenges one’s conceptions of the vessel through their sheer scale and ambitious technique.

This exhibition is made possible through the support of the John Curtin Gallery’s new Principal Presenting Partner Navitas Ltd.

The John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University, Bentley, is open Monday to Friday, from 11am to 5pm, and Sunday, from 12pm to 4pm. ENTRY IS FREE.

Visit, phone 9266 4155 or become a friend on Facebook.