Artist Statement – The High Fired Series

‘The High Fired Series’

(Air, Land, Sea)

Porcelain embraces my very strong attraction to Chinese art and to the significance of ceramics as a major art form.

The title, ‘High Fired’ is derived from the making process of porcelain clay. The raw clay must be ‘high fired’ in the extreme heat of a kiln (1330°c.) to transform it into porcelain. Artillery shells need to be ‘fired high’ to hit a target.

The genesis of The High Fired Series occurred in 2005, while working as an invited Artist in Residence at the studio of the Great Sculpting Master, Liu Yuan Chang from Jing De Zhen, China.

At the time I was having difficulty accepting my son’s decision to join the Royal Australian Navy, following the footsteps of my husband and that of his forbears.

As a mother, I sought to understand my son, and the role that the military has played in my family’s history. As I reflected on current world climate, my German heritage, and the anxieties I hold for my son and future generations, I was compelled to pacify and undermine the aggressive character of the artillery shell form.

I selected the shell because of its associations with my son’s naval duties, which are specifically related to artillery. This powerful form is simultaneously a weapon of destruction and also counter- intuitively a way to attain peace. This seeming contradiction emphasizes the destruction versus creation dichotomy.

By manipulating the shells dichotomies and symbolism, I sought to illustrate a middle ground between creation and destruction, offering possibilities for a range of interpretations and my desire for balance hope and peace.