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The inside story: Garry Bish

9 September – 11 November


An accomplished and respected Australian ceramicist, Garry Bish investigates applying pictorial space to an object in the round, creating visual ambiguities that alter its shape, volume and interpretation. While there is a long history of artists recording realms on the wall of the ceramic vessel, Bish challenges and distorts the free-standing form with images that encircle and embrace the surface, transforming perspectives. It is the puzzle of this spatial breach that has been the artist’s personal obsession for many years.

The inside story offers an installation of ceramic vessels united in form and surface, grouped to allude to an architectural landscape dense with illusion. An array of glass bottles from central Victoria dating back to the goldfields have been individually moulded and reproduced by slip-casting in white stoneware clay, alongside hand built and wheel thrown vessels. With a nod to Escher, the visual narratives presented by Bish draw attention to major issues in contemporary society. Discussing the work, Bish acknowledges his concern that we are actively compartmentalising the landscape. With every new development, with each house that is built, another section of the landscape is contained. It is this domination of the natural environment and ‘vesselisation’ of space that is deeply disturbing for the artist. Each chapter of Sprawl is example of the compounding impact of rampant urbanisation and the ongoing consumption of resources and space.

Garry Bish, Sprawl 2005, ceramic. Image reproduced courtesy of the artist Photo: Andy Banks
Garry Bish, Theatre of convergence 2005, glazed ceramic. Image reproduced courtesy of the artist