Dr Rebecca Coates

Dr Rebecca Coates

Opening Keynote Address

Rebecca Coates is the director of Shepparton Art Museum. Located in regional Victoria, SAM is recognised for its significant collection of Australian ceramics, notable historic works, and a growing collection of outstanding contemporary Australian art by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists.  Rebecca is an established curator, writer and lecturer, with over 25 years professional art museum and gallery experience in both Australia and overseas. She has a PhD in Art History and was previously a Lecturer at the University of Melbourne in Art History and Art Curatorship, where she is an Honorary Fellow. She speaks and writes regularly on contemporary art and theory, curatorial practice, and art in the public realm, and sits on a number of advisory boards.

Website: Shepparton Art Museum

Image: Dr Rebecca Coates in front of Angelina Gorge’s painting in SAM collection

Sergei Isupov

Sergei Isupov

Presenter / Demonstrator / Philosophy Cafe

My work portrays characters placed in situations that are drawn from my imagination but based on my life experiences. My art works capture a composite of fleeting moments, hand gestures, eye movements that follow and reveal the sentiments expressed. These details are all derived from actual observations but are gathered or collected over my lifetime. Through the drawn images and sculpted forms, I capture faces, body types and use symbolic elements to compose, in the same way as you might create a collage. These ideas drift and migrate throughout my work without direct regard to specific individuals, chronology or geography. Universalism is implied and personal interpretation expected. Through my work I get to report about and explore human encounters, comment on the relationships between man and woman, and eventually their sexual union that leads to the final outcome – the passing on of DNA which is the ultimate collection – a combined set of genes and a new life, represented in the child. Everything that surrounds and excites me is automatically processed and transformed into…an artwork.

The essence of my work is not in the medium or the creative process, but in the human beings and their incredible diversity. When I think of myself and my works, I’m not sure I create them, perhaps they create me.

Website: Sergei Isupov

Image: Reflection 2007 – 14 (2014), porcelain, slip, glaze. 10 x 14 x 5″

Yasmin Smith

Yasmin Smith

Presenter / Demonstrator / Special Project

(b. 1984, Sydney and Itinerant) travels widely undertaking research for her archaeological ceramics installations that explore the chemistry of glaze techniques to furnish material evidence of histories, ecologies, geology and culture. She makes her glazes from organic and inorganic material found on site with elements of the clay body sometimes also locally excavated as part of her process. Smith’s practice straddles art (ceramics) and more scientific investigations.

Smith is currently developing a site-specific work for the 21st Biennale of Sydney.

Smith was a finalist in the 2017 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award exhibition at Shepparton Art Museum. Her work, Open Vase Central Leader Widow Maker, contains over 150 cast ceramic branches of three species of tree that have been glazed with their own wood ash. 

In 2016, Smith developed site-specific clay and glazes and built an outdoor kiln for the inaugural, Sculpture at Barangaroo, Sydney. Contours of our heart was a two-week process based outdoor public engagement project.

In 2014, Smith spent 6 weeks at Hermannsburg in Central Australia assisting the local community of potters. As a result of her time there, Smith developed Ntaria Fence for a solo exhibition at The Commercial in 2015.

In 2013, Smith was shortlisted for the Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists’ Travel Scholarship Prize, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney.

Smith completed her Master of Visual Arts (Ceramics) at Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney in 2010. She was a director of the influential Sydney artist-run initiative, Locksmith Project from 2008 until 2010.

Smith is represented by The Commercial Sydney. 

Her work is in the collection of Artbank and Shepparton Art Museum.

Website: The Commercial Gallery

Image: Open Vase Central Leader Widow Maker (2017), slip cast ceramic objects, with three types of wood ash glaze, corrugated iron, canvas tarpaulin, dimensions variable

Image Credit: Elise Fredericksen

Amy Kennedy

Amy Kennedy

Presenter / Panelist

‘In my works, fine paper-thin leaves of glaze material are assembled to form layered objects. Working with delicacy and movement, I use the flowing layers like the opening pages of a book or fluttering piles of fabric to create a windblown or whirlpool effect. Energy and movement is assisted by the gentle softening that occurs during the firing process, giving sculptures the capacity to hover, tilt or extend, as if once animated.’

Amy Kennedy is a ceramic artist based in Melbourne. Her work is guided by the development of unique materials and processes. She is driven by a sense of wonder and curiosity in natural phenomena and endeavors to capture these qualities in her works.

Amy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) Honours from RMIT University in 2006, having previously completed a Diploma of Ceramics at Box Hill Institute of TAFE. Her career highlights include being awarded residencies at Baer Art Center Iceland, Anderson Ranch Arts Centre, Colorado USA, and the European Ceramic Work Centre in The Netherlands. In 2015 she was awarded first prize in the Toorak Village Sculpture Exhibition and in 2013 a New Work Grant by the Australia Council for the Arts. Her work has been exhibited in group exhibitions nationally, including Return to Beauty, Edwina Corlette Gallery Brisbane (2016), Quiet Conversations, Skepsi Gallery (2014) and An Important Exhibition of Australian Ceramics: A Tribute to Janet Mansfield at Mossgreen Gallery, Melbourne (2014). Her work is held in the collections of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Bendigo Art Gallery, Warrnambool Art Gallery and the European Ceramic Work Centre.

Website: Amy Kennedy Ceramics

Image: Baer (2017) Image Credit: Christopher Sanders


Grace Nickel

Grace Nickel


Grace Nickel is a ceramic artist living in Winnipeg, Canada, who createslarge-scale installations. In recent years she has been collaborating with experts in various faculties at the University of Manitoba where she teaches full-time. For instance, she worked in residence at the Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology where she learned to apply its ground-breaking architectural research in fabric-formed mould-making to her own sculptural forms. This resulted in theinstallationArbor Vitae, which was exhibited throughout Canada and in the NCECA Annual Exhibition 2017 in Portland, Oregon.

Other highlights of her career include winning awards in the Mino International Ceramics Competition in Japan and the Taiwan Golden Ceramics Awards. Grace  has attended numerous residency programs including Medalta in Medicine Hat, Canada, the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China, and she worked at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia, as an invited Adjunct Research Fellow.

Grace Nickel’s work is broadly collected, with the largest representation in the collection of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax, where she completed her graduate studies at NSCAD University. She is currently creating a new body of work for an upcoming solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Burlington in Ontario. In the new work, themes of loss and regeneration are being explored by using a combination of analogue and digital technologies, including hand-building, casting, and 3D printing.

 Grace Nickel is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

 Website: gracenickel.ca

Image: Arbor Vitae, 2015, porcelain, oxides, glaze, 240 × 360 × 525 cm overall. Photo by: Michael Zajac

Hayley Panangka Coulthard

Hayley Panangka Coulthard


Hayley Panangka Coulthard was born in Hermannsburg, daughter of fellow Hermannsburg Potter Anita Ratara. Joining the Hermannsburg Potters in 2009, Coulthard has established herself as a prominent member of the group, developing her raw natural talent under the mentorship of Senior Potters Judith Inkamala and Rahel Ungwanaka. Her work is known for its incorporation of ceramic relief methods, which plays on the Hermannsburg Potters’ multidimensional style. Like her mother Anita, Hayley chooses to depict her traditional Country, Palm Valley, in her work, and the associated Willy Wagtail Dreaming.

As an emerging artist of the Hermannsburg Potters, Hayley Coulthard is known for producing work of both a high technical standard and of artistic merit. Having participated in numerous group exhibitions in Australia, she was invited to exhibit in the 2010 collaborative exhibition Meou Art: Exhibition of Australian Indigenous Art in Shanghai, China. This

significant international exhibition showcased the work of artists from the Northern Territory’s Hermannsburg Potters, Warlukurlangu Artists and Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Arts Centre.

Hayley Coulthard is also renowned for her delightful AFL footy pots, her work St Kilda versus Collingwood being acquired by the Art Gallery of South Australia in 2011. She has since gone on to be a part of the significant 2016 National Gallery of Victoria exhibition, Our Land is Alive – Hermannsburg Potters for Kids, where twenty AFL-themed pots were commissioned to tell the story of the game’s history, particularly as it has unfolded in the footy fanatic community of Hermannsburg.

Hayley served on the Desart Incorporated Board from 2010 to 2012 and is currently a director on the Hermannsburg Potters Board and Desart Board.

Website: hermannsburgpotters.com.au

image: “This work depicts my traditional Country, Palm Valley, west of Hermannsburg”, 2016

Western Aranda artists of Ntaria

Photography by Tobias Titz Photography.

Judith Pungkarta Inkamala

Judith Pungkarta Inkamala


Judith is a founding member of Hermannsburg Potters. Judith’s work has been exhibited widely throughout Australia over the past 30 years and she has travelled extensively, both nationally and internationally over this time to represent the Hermannsburg Potters. Her pots reflect a predisposition for balanced, symmetrical objects and reveal an accomplished hand in the craftsmanship.

Inkamala takes inspiration from her Western Aranda country and transforms these visions into wonderfully crafted terracotta pots and occasionally paintngs on canvas. Her pots are beautfully crafted and show a great attention to detail. Her paintings seem to invite her pots into the landscape – as skillfully painted as the pot is constructed.

Judith Inkamala has had a long-standing association with creative work and as a child was known to spend time at the Albert Namatjira household as she was great friends with his grand-daughter Gloria. As a child, Judith recalls watching the famous Albert Namatjira and his kinsmen painting in the camp near the Mission, going to the painters’ camp after school and watching the men paint. Her historical works on the Hermannsburg Mission and, as well as her works on the Namatjira story, are of particular interest to collectors both in Australia and internationally.

In 2010 Judith accompanied Rahel Ungwanaka to China to showcase their pottery to ceramic artists for the collaborative exhibition Meou Art: Exhibition of Australian Indigenous Art in Shanghai, China.

Website: hermannsburgpotters.com.au

image: Lyerrtjina (budgerigar) -2016 by Hermannsburg pottery

Penny Evans

Penny Evans


I am an artist and independent business person.

I create ceramics, works on paper, prints and film.

I stay true to my creative process.


My work is informed by my rich cultural heritage – Gomeroi/Gamilaraay – and connection to country is vitally important to me.

Design work on my ceramics engage with the ancient symbols and iconography of my Ancestors with the underlying intent of reinstating ownership of something which was forcibly taken from us.

I have been very busy in 2018: a solo show of my ceramic work at the Lismore Regional Gallery was installed throughout April.  Measured Response, a group show at the National Art School curated by Emily McDaniel, features a large wall installation of my ceramics.

Also my ceramic design work will feature on the eastern sails of the Sydney Opera House as part of Badu Gili for NAIDOC in July 2018

My current work explores the devastating impact of water mismanagement and regressive European agricultural practices which are destroying our environment and are particularly acute in my Ancestral homelands. This investigation has resulted in a substantial body of ceramic work to be installed at the Shepparton Art Museum for the Indigenous Ceramic Art Award August 2018.

Website: www.pennyevansart.com

Photographer – portrait: Neshko Garch

Michelle Bounpraseuth

Michelle Bounpraseuth


Mechelle Bounpraseuth is a Sydney based artist who completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the National Art School. Her practice also includes drawing, photography, artist books and zines. She has exhibited at the National Gallery of Australia, Craft Victoria and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

Bounpraseuth draws upon her childhood memories of growing up in South Western Sydney as the child of Laotian refugee parents. Her work shares her personal narrative and that of her family.

Bounpraseuth creates a visual documentation of her personal experiences with the aim of looking at the connectivity between the larger social and political aspects of migrant experience, cultural diversity and the complexities of diaspora through the recreation of everyday and forgotten objects. Simultaneously portraying a sense of nostalgia and displacement with acceptance, humour and imperfect beauty.


Website: www.mechelleb.com

image credit – portrait: Jacquie Manning

Kirsha Kaechele

Kirsha Kaechele


Kirsha Kaechele is an artist and curator drawn to the space where complex problems exist. Problems, for Kirsha, are simply a mechanism for art.

Kirsha’s projects include: 24 Carrot Gardens, which creates kitchen gardens for schools in disadvantaged parts of Tasmania and New Orleans; Heavy Metal, an art-science project focused on cleaning up the River Derwent; Zero-Trash / Trascism, Mona’s zero-waste approach (tested at the Mona Market over the last few years and embraced by Mona’s hospitality and festival teams); the Hacking School in New Orleans, a strictly non-dorky community learning space; Eat the Problem, a creative cooking solution to the problem of invasive species; as well as, of course, regular art feasts.

Website: https://mona.net.au/museum/kirsha-s-portal

Image courtesy MONA, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Photo Credit: RémiChauvin

Peter Timms

Peter Timms

Keynote Address

Peter Timms was born and educated in Melbourne and currently lives in Hobart. He was Director of the Shepparton Art Gallery from 1973 to 1980, where he established the collection of Australian ceramics. In the early eighties, he was Assistant Curator of the Hyde Parks Barracks Museum of Australian Decorative Arts in Sydney. He was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1984 to study studio ceramics in Europe and England, and an Australia Council Senior WritersFellowship in 1994. In the early nineties, he travelled extensively in Japan, visiting potters and traditional pottery villages. Since 1988 he has worked as a freelance journalist and author, contributing to publications both within Australia and overseas. He was Editor of Art Monthly Australia for five years and has served as art critic for The Ageand The Australian newspapers. Peter has published eleven books of non-fiction, including Australian Studio Pottery, Making Nature,Whats Wrong with Contemporary Art?Australias Quarter Acre, Private Lives: Australians at Home since Federation and Hobart. His first novel, Asking for Trouble, was published by HarperCollins in 2014. His most recent book is A Serious History of Silliness.

 Website: www.petertimms.com.au

Prue Venables

Prue Venables

Presenter, In Conversation with Lisa Cahill

Numerous national and international exhibitions, awards and publications celebrate the fine porcelain work of Prue Venables. Included in many public and private collections worldwide, her pots explore complex and unusual approaches to working with porcelain, challenge the significance of daily objects and highlight the richness that they bring to our lives.

‘A search for simplicity and quietness, an essential stillness, motivates my work. The making of functional pots, the exploration of objects to be held and used, alongside a search for new and innovative forms, provides a lifetime of challenge and excitement. A beautiful cup seems simple and yet is capable of gently holding and reflecting so much ceremony and personal connection. The kitchen is full of such objects, quietly sitting, watching, waiting. The made object stands innocently – as if oblivious to the complexities of its history, of making and firing processes. The translucency of porcelain, the light dancing on the sprung tension of a rim, the softly melting body inviting touch, even the frustration of failure – all this and more continues to invite me.’

Dancing together:

The magic of the dance. As if stepping out to music, there is a playful and connected interaction that is growing here. The timing is perfect as the meeting of minds and emotions intersect. The learning is exciting on every level.

Website: http://pruevenables.com/

Image credits: portrait Christopher Sanders / objects Terence Bogue

Anne Mette Hjortshøj

Anne Mette Hjortshøj


Anne Mette Hjortshøj graduated from the ceramic department at The Royal Danish Academy on Bornholm in 2000. To improve her skills and gain further experience, she spent eighteen months working in Wales with the potter Phil Rogers and in the USA, Australia and Korea. Since then she has exhibited and worked internationally but spends most of her time making work to fire in her two chamber wood kiln on the Danish island of Bornholm.

Website: annemettehjortshoj.dk/

Lisa Cahill

Lisa Cahill

In Conversation with Prue Venables

Lisa Cahill has held several senior roles in government and the design sector. Prior to joining the Design Centre as Associate Director in 2015, she was the CEO of the Australian Design Alliance. Her various government roles include ministerial adviser, SBS, the Australia Council for the Arts and the City of Sydney. She was also research manager for the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies. Working variously as a curator, writer and creative producer in the visual and performing arts, Lisa co-curated the Australian exhibition for the Triennale of Craft in Kanazawa, Japan in 2013 and New Weave: Contemporary Approaches to the Traditions of Weaving for Object (now Australian Design Centre) in 2014. Lisa completed a Bachelor of Communications in Professional Writing at the University of Canberra and a Masters of Arts Administration from the University of New South Wales. Currently Lisa is co-chair of the Australian Craft and Design Centre Network and is a member of the Interim Council of the Sydney Culture Network.

Website: https://australiandesigncentre.com/about/


Peter Hughes

Peter Hughes


Peter Hughes was appointed as the first full-time curator of decorative arts at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in 1999. He graduated with a Master’s Degree (Research) in Art Theory from the Australian National University in 1995 with a thesis exploring the links between the English nineteenth century art critic, John Ruskin’s writing about architecture, ornament and design and ecological theory. Ornamentation remains one of Peter’s research interests along with Tasmanian colonial decorative arts, Australian decorative arts and identity, design and ecological theory, and contemporary ‘thing’ theory. Peter’s current projects include a history of Tasmanian colonial-period furniture 1804 – 1860 to be published as a book by the museum, the life and work of the Tasmanian mid-20th century potter, Violet Mace and proposed new exhibitions for the TMAG art and design galleries. Peter has curated numerous exhibitions at TMAG, including the 2012 Redevelopment Art and Design exhibitions in the Hunter Galleries and Our Changing Land; Making Tasmania in the Bond Store One Gallery. In 2015 he curated Things I Once Knew: the Art of Patrick Hall, the artist’s first retrospective and, most recently, Prospero’s Library as part of the Tempest exhibition in 2016.

Website: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery


David Ray

David Ray

In conversation with Kevin Murray / Demonstrator

David’s ceramics have built a reputation for being wild and flamboyant Baroque creations. Conceptually, the creations explore function and dysfunction within our consumeristic society. The handmade is an idealistic idea he holds dear within his making process. Decoration is incorporated within the body of the work; weaving, twisting and turning, with a confounding plethora of images and motifs. He believes life is a juxtaposition between the perception of the beautiful and the ugly, which creates a subjective perception towards making and looking at Art itself.

David Ray retired from RMIT University in 1996 with Honours and his work is held in Australian and international collections. He has held numerous Artist in Residence placements and he lists that Liverpool (U.K.) was his most ‘mind-bending’. Various publications and articles have been written about his work. He comes up when Googled!

Terrible at self-promotion, David prefers making in his studio in the Yarra Valley, Victoria and continuing to exhibit within both realms of the ‘Art’ and ‘Craft’ worlds. He is a trained secondary teacher, specialising in trauma informed practice, with 15 years experience in this field. He says “time is precious, but teaching and making both provide a balance within my life”.

Website: David Ray

Image: Wild (2017), handbuilt earthenware, decal, enamel gold, 48 x 40 x 36 cm

Winner of the 2017 Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award

Image Credit: Shannon McGrath

Kenji Uranishi

Kenji Uranishi

Presenter / Demonstrator

Kenji Uranishi is an Australian-based, Japanese artist who explores ideas around nature and the built environment, place and belonging. Kenji studied at the Nara College of Fine Arts and began his career in Japan working mostly with stoneware clay. A move to Australia in 2004 signalled a critical shift in his practice as he began working predominantly with porcelain, hand building translucent white, often architecturally inspired objects. A turning point came in 2014 when he received an Asialink residency (funded by Arts Queensland) to spend 12 weeks in Arita in Kyushu – a place many consider to be the birthplace of porcelain in Japan. During that time, Kenji worked with local craftspeople, designers and artists to explore new directions in his ceramic practice, including with a master mould maker who shared the techniques of his craft. Returning to Australia, Kenji continued to explore this process and began hand-carving moulds for slip casting to construct and expand modular forms. He first showed the results of this work, in combination with slab-built sculptural pieces, in his 2016 solo exhibition at the Museum of Brisbane, Momentary. Comprising 50 sculptures, the installation captured Kenji’s interest in the wild and unfamiliar aspects of the Australian environment, and the light and patterns in architecture, nature and everyday life. Kenji’s artworks are held in a number of public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, and feature in public spaces including 400 George Street, Brisbane and the Ipswich Courthouse, Queensland. During 2018, he was undertaking three new public art projects. Kenji lives and works in Brisbane.

Website: Kenji Uranishi

Image: Danpen X (2018), slipcast porcelain, 5 x 34 x 34cm

Elisa Helland-Hansen

Elisa Helland-Hansen

Presenter / Demonstrator

Elisa Helland-Hansen is a Norwegian studio potter based in Rosendal by the Hardangerfjord in western Norway. She was trained at the Bergen National College for Arts and Design in the 1970s, and has worked as a full-time potter making utilitarian work since then. She was head of the department and a professor at HDK – University of Gothenburg, in Sweden for five years, has traveled extensively, and exhibits nationally and internationally.

Website: Elisa Helland-Hansen

Image: Porcelain cups (2016), reduction fired to cone 10, 10 cm H x 10.5 cm W

photograph courtesy of the artist

Alicja Patanowska

Alicja Patanowska


In her artistic practice, Alicja Patanowska combines glass with porcelain, and visual arts with designing, always aiming to engage the audience.

What is characteristic of her art is the recurrent topic of waste.

She considers craft skills to be crucial for her artistic practice as she designs and learns through the making process.

She graduated from the Royal College of Art in London (2014) and the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław (2012). Her products are available in many places, including Merci in Paris, London’s Barbican and New York’s MoMA. The laureate of a number of awards, such as Gazeta Wyborcza’s WARTO (2017), must have!, (2016), British Glass Biennial (2015), her works also form a part of several art and design collections, one of which belongs to the Shanghai Museum of Glass.

Website: Alicja Patanowska

Image: Of Mice and Men (2016), porcelain, taxidermia

photographer: Alicja Kielan

Dr Damon Moon

Dr Damon Moon

Moderator: Meeting the Market / Philosophy Cafe

Dr. Damon Moon is currently Creative Director of the ceramics studio at JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design in Adelaide, South Australia and an Adjunct Researcher in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Tasmania.

His role at the JamFactory encompasses the design and production of tableware as part of the JamFactory product range and bespoke commissions for private and corporate clients, as well as mentoring up to six trainees who are undertaking the two-year JamFactory associate training program.

Damon Moon is also one of Australia’s most prolific commentators on contemporary and historic ceramics, with over fifty published articles, catalogue essays and he has contributed to several major publications, including co-authoring the 2014 SALA monograph ‘Beyond Bravura’ on Stephen Bowers for Wakefield Press.

Damon’s own practice as a maker sees him straddle the worlds of art, craft and design. In 2018 he is showing work in Milan as part of the 5 Vie ART + DESIGN WEEK series during the Milan Design Fair, and is exhibiting his own work in response to the collections of Shepparton Art Museum, Bendigo Art Gallery and the La Trobe Art Institute.

In May 2019 Damon is curating ‘Manifest’, the Australian Ceramics Association biennial exhibition as part of Holding Space/Making Place, the 2019 Australian Ceramics Triennale in Hobart, Tasmania.

Websites:  Jam Factory, Damon Moon


Anna-Marie Wallace

Anna-Marie Wallace

Presenter / Panelist / Demonstrator

Anna-Marie Wallace is a British born, Australian artist of Italian & Scottish heritage. She is an Industrial Designer turned Ceramicist, who began her short but avid foray into the world of clay in 2012 with Made OF Australia, a saggar firing business whose art, jewellery, & tableware are coveted by retailers, galleries, stylists, photographers, high end restaurants, & renowned chefs globally.

She introduced Liquid Quartz to the ceramic arts market in 2015, after years of research & development into finding a solution to the age old issue of food safety & unglazed surfaces. She openly discusses & shares the technology used to make her pieces food safe, with the hope of allowing others to expand their alternative firing ceramic practices too. She is an outspoken advocate for the death of “starving artist” syndrome, & runs workshops, mentorship programmes, & internships to teach others how to market & sell their art, as well as run a sustainable, & profitable, arts based practice.

She works solely with Australian clays, native flora, & waste from Indigenous fauna (Pandanus, Macadamia, Bunya, Magpie Goose feathers, Crocodile eggshell, Koala scat, Dugong seagrass, & calcified seaweeds & corals to name a few), foraged in her local area or sent in by friends from The Northern Territory to Tasmania. The unpredictable & unrepeatable finish of each piece tells a unique story of origins & process. Her creations pay homage to all that was destroyed to create them; they are pieces OF Australia, each as individual as you are.

Website: Made OF Australia

Image: Minimalist Plate (28cm); Australian Porcelain Saggar Fired with Pandanus, Macadamia, Dugong Seagrass, & Crocodile Eggshell (Range produced 2016-2018) Tiger Myrtle hand carved spoon also by the artist.

Image Credit: Michelle Eabry

Dr Jeff Malpas

Dr Jeff Malpas

Keynote Address / Philosophy Cafe

Jeff Malpas is Distinguished Professor at the University of Tasmania and Visiting Distinguished Professor at Latrobe University. He was founder, and until 2005, Director, of the University of Tasmania’s Centre for Applied Philosophy and Ethics. He is the author or editor of 21 books with some of the world’s leading academic presses, and has published over 100 scholarly articles on topics in philosophy, art, architecture, and geography.

His work is grounded in post-Kantian thought, especially the hermeneutical and phenomenological traditions, as well as in analytic philosophy of language and mind, and draws on the thinking of a diverse range of thinkers including, most notably, Albert Camus, Donald Davidson, Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer. He is currently working on topics including the ethics of place, the failing character of governance, the materiality of memory, the topological character of hermeneutics, the place of art, and the relation between place, boundary, and surface.

Website: Jeff Malpas


Shane Kent

Shane Kent

Presenter: Future Education / Philosophy Cafe

Shane Kent trained as a potter in Japan and Australia before completing a Bachelor of Fine Art (Ceramics), post-graduate studies in sculpture and education, and a Masters in Drawing. He taught the Diploma of Art (Ceramics) at Box Hill TAFE from 1989-2011.  He has been exhibiting in Melbourne since 1985, most recently at Australian Galleries.  Since 2011 he has undertaken major ceramic commissions through design studio Projects of Imagination for custom tableware, lighting, bespoke tiles and artwork.

Shane has a deep interest in explanations of creative processes, which he continues to explore in his own practice and his teaching.    Both the studio environment at SoCA and his approach to teaching are informed by an intention to inspire and nurture creative emergence, open up ways of seeing, bring awareness to creative processes and foster the independence necessary to a sustainable art practice.

Website: SoCA


Neville Assad-Salha

Neville Assad-Salha

Demonstrator / Philosophy Cafe

Neville Assad-Salha studied at the South Australian School of Art from 1973 to 1976.

He has been a practising ceramist/ potter for over 40 years.

He has held many solo exhibitions and group shows.

Neville taught ceramics at many universities in Melbourne and Adelaide.

He is a former professor at the University of Beirut.

He has attended many international symposiums.

Neville lives between South Australia and Lebanon.

Dr Kevin Murray

Dr Kevin Murray

In conversation with David Ray / Philosophy Cafe

Dr Kevin Murray is an independent writer and curator, Adjunct Professor at RMIT University and Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Major current roles are managing editor for Garland Magazine and the Online Encyclopedia of Crafts in the Asia Pacific Region. In 2000-2007 he was Director of Craft Victoria where he developed the Scarf Festival and the South Project, a four-year program of exchange involving Melbourne, Wellington, Santiago and Johannesburg.  He has curated many exhibitions, including ‘Signs of Change: Jewellery Designed for a Better World’;  ‘The World of Small Things’; ‘Symmetry: Crafts Meet Kindred Trades and Professions’; ‘Water Medicine: Precious Works for an Arid Continent’; ‘Guild Unlimited: Ten Jewellers Make Insignia for Potential Guilds’; ‘Seven Sisters: Fibre Works from the West’;  ‘Common Goods: Cultures Meet through Craft’ for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and Joyaviva: Live Jewellery Across the Pacific that toured Latin America.  His books include Judgement of Paris: Recent French Thought in an Australian Context (Allen & Unwin, 1991), Craft Unbound: Make the Common Precious (Thames & Hudson, 2005) and with Damian Skinner, Place and Adornment: A History of Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New Zealand (Bateman, 2014). He is currently a Senionr Vice-President of the World Craft Council Asia Pacific Region, coordinator of Southern Perspectives and Sangam: A Platform for Craft-Design Parnerships. He teaches at RMIT University, the University of Melbourne, Swinburne University and University of New South Wales.

Website: Kevin Murray