RMIT Honour Graduate Show at First Site Gallery 2014

Porcelain, Nepheline syenite, Calcined Alumina

‘Artificial Rocks no.1’ is both homage to my ancestral roots and a reinterpretation of the ancient practice of Chinese Scholar rocks through material experiments in ceramic materials.  Rocks enjoy a special status in Chinese Culture.  Regarded as representing a microcosm of the universe and for containing spiritual energies, the Chinese literati have been collecting them for thousands of years and placing them indoors to be revered as objects for both aesthetic appreciation and meditation. These ‘rock’ is the outcome of  pseudo-alchemical experimentations with repeatedly high-firing Nepheline Syenite, a common ingredient in glaze formulation, in isolation from clay bodies.  Clay bodies are fired separately, acting as props and supporting the ‘glaze’ via specific placement rather than adhering to the form.

Realizing the materials and processes engaged with in this objects manifestation are in mimesis of Earth’s geological formations, has lead me to question the b the real and artificial, the natural and manmade.   Scholar’s Rocks are considered to be the embodiment of the transformational powers of nature; can this modern day adaptation measure up to its ancient counterparts??

image credits: Adam Hammad