craft / “Sandra Black: Reflective Space”, Beaver Galleries, until June 16. Reviewed by MEREDITH HINCHLIFFE.
SANDRA Black is an established ceramicist who lives and works in Fremantle, WA. She has exhibited her fine and delicate, porcelain works regularly since 1976 in both solo and group shows. Black has been an artist-in-residence in many countries, including and most recently The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China. This town in south-east China has been the home of fine porcelain for centuries.
The work in this exhibition – in porcelain – is fully resolved, both in form and decoration from a ceramicist who is in full control of her medium.
Three small bowls with a pale, creamy yellow celadon glaze are delicately carved, one with a Banksia leaf, another with a Banksia pod, and the third a curved vine. Made from Chinese porcelain their full bellies rise from small feet, which lift and float the forms.
A second group of small bowls (Catalogue Nos. 31 – 35) in southern ice porcelain glazed with satin, turquoise and white glaze all have a gold decal in the bases, several depicting window treatments from Jingdezhen. They draw the eye to the centre of the bowls which have a sensual, satiny surface.
Black is well known for her delicately carved works. Seven chalk white vessels in cool ice porcelain are carved, pierced and polished. Slightly thicker than earlier works, the rims contain the form. Hardenbergia leaves enclose the interior of a large carved bowl of “Hardenbergia II” (Cat. 20). In ebony porcelain, the light shines through and highlights the satiny surface of the leaves. It rises proudly from a small foot and is an outstanding work.
The artist has introduced a new, oval form into her oeuvre. “Windswept III” (Cat 1) is a superb example. Grey morning mist rises on the white porcelain, with contrasting spikey pine needles and branches in the foreground. She created the decals from photographs she has taken.
Black is a consummate ceramist with her aesthetic sensibilities more than matching her considerable technical skills.