Art and ceramics studio 

63 Wilkins Street, Mawson ACT

Media Release -  13 July 2005

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Clay, porcelain and marble sculptors find “common ground” 

Dante characters, secular angels, human forms expressing emotional depths and sculptures that aim to be “food for your soul”…these are just some of the themes explored by three sculptors from Australia, Holland and Italy who have come together in a group show to open at Mawson Gallery on 13 July.

“Common Ground” is the culmination of a cross-fertilisation of ideas and collaboration by Canberrans Peter King and Berendina de Ruiter and visiting Italian Sebastiano Leta.

Berendina is Dutch born but migrated to Austalia in the early 1980s after which she completed a sculpture degree at the Canberra School of Art. A 2002 Churchill Fellowship took her to Pietrasanta in Tuscany (near the famous Carrara marble quarries) to learn more about marble carving. This was to be the first of several visits working alongside other international artists.

During her last visit she worked with Sicilian Sebestian Leta and persuaded him to visit Canberra. Back in Australia, Berendina and Sebastiano joined with Peter King to exchange ideas on sculptural concepts, materials and generally cross-fertalising their artistic thinking. 

Berendina has exhibited and worked on commissions in Holland and Germany. She strives for beauty, harmony and serenity. 

“Sculpture is my passion and my ‘food for the soul’.  I believe we all need nourishment of that kind, be it through music, art or the beauty of our natural environment. I strive for beauty, harmony and serenity and work which makes people dream, think, reflect and be still.” 

Peter King is largely self-taught, though he has worked closely with other leading sculptors over the past few years to improve and fine tune his artistic skills. 

“I strive to express an emotional depth in my figures of women, men and children and I prefer to model in clay or wax  for spontaneity and impulsiveness of expression,” he said.

This is Sebastiano’s first visit to Australia. He has taken time off from his art work in Tuscany where he is honing his sculptural skills in marble, ceramics and bronze.  An honours graduate from the Palermo Decorative Arts Academy, he has lecturered in ceramics and his work has been exhibited throughout Italy in group and personal shows. 

For this exhibiton Sebastiano used characters from Dante’s epic poetry as symbols for our modern times. In his art, angels and other seemingly religious icons take on new meanings in our 21 century secular world.

The exhibition begins at MAWSON GALLERY, 63 Wilkins Street, Mawson on 13 July and runs until 14 August.  Opening hours are 10.30am – 5.30pm Wednesday to Sunday. Or by appointment anytime.  Phone 6161 2177,  mobile 0438 473 902.

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