Art and ceramics studio 

63 Wilkins Street, Mawson ACT

Media Release -7 October, 2005

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Bold coastal landscapes  &  ‘soda’ ceramics

The latest exhibition at Mawson gallery features Ritchey Sealy’s bold oils of the rocky coastline around Eurobodalla and Robyn Gough’s dramatic, yet subtle “soda vapour” glazed ceramics.

Ritchey, who comes from a family of distinguished artists (father, uncle, brother, cousin and aunt) lives and works in a studio house at Mossy Point. His subjects include Australian wildlife, seascapes, landscapes and portraits. 

His works are in private and public collections in Australia and around the world (though he considers the presentation of one of his paintings to the Duchess of York in the Bicentennial Year of 1988 a highlight of his career).

“My inspiration comes from the dramatic coast line around Eurobodalla and I also travel to Forbes to paint the massive river gum. Sometimes I paint around Braidwood and this year I came to Canberra to paint Floriade inspired themes.”

With art in his blood, Ritchey, a volunteer fireman with the Candalagan Rural Fire Service, even admits to compulsively photographing on the “fine line” during the bushfire season at the coast.

Robyn Gough has been a ceramic artist for many years and was potter in residence at Cowra’s Japanese Garden Pottery House for some years. Last year she added to her formal TAFE ceramics qualifications by graduating from the Canberra School of Art.

She garnered no less than three of the Emerging Artists Support Scheme awards and is currently the School’s graduate in residence.  “My passion is to experiment with soda vapour glazing to create beautiful pottery that is made to be touched and used and that gives the user pleasure again and again,” she said.

Soda-glazing was developed in the 1970s and uses sodium carbonate or bicarbonate in the kiln at a high temperature to create soda-vapor. The vapour gives the resulting ceramics a very characteristic, but unpredictable “look and feel”.

“I make vessels for daily use. An important part of my life is growing fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers and herbs and this is my contribution to a way of life I have aspired to for the past 30years. I  take pleasure in presenting good food to friends and family, providing a safe harbour in the hustle and bustle of daily life. I like to think that the quiet forms of my ceramic vessels reflect that philosophy,” Robyn said.

The exhibition begins at MAWSON GALLERY, 63 Wilkins Street, Mawson on 12 October and runs until 13 November.  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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