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Program event

Your Role in the Future: Environment

Dr Julie Bartholomew

Venue: Manning Clarke Theatre 1, Australian National University (ANU), Canberra ACT 2600


Friday, 10 July 2015 11:25 am – 11:35 am

Ceramics and Activism

An interchange takes place between ideas and materials. When working with clay, a dialogue that emerges for many object makers concerns the complex relationship between humankind and the natural world. Being of the earth and receptive to bodily contact, clay’s tactility may activate the senses and trigger a consciousness of our connectedness to nature. Yet paradoxically, clay is removed from the earth, processed and packaged in plastic, manipulated and finessed into resilient hardness.

These transitional processes of removal from the earth may provoke a reminder of humankind’s separateness from the natural environment. Cultural context, progress and technological development distances and redefines nature as other, allowing the natural world to be colonised and envisaged as consumable resource.

Dr Julie Bartholomew’s presentation discusses artists who work with clay and recognize its unique capacity to activate empathy and contemplation as a means of drawing attention to environmental issues.


Image: Julie Bartholomew, Scented Acronychia & Blue Tinsel Lily, porcelain, life-size. Image courtesy of the Artist


Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre Australian National University Canberra Potters' Society Strathnairn Arts Association The Australian Ceramics Association