A remarkable exhibition celebrating the career of one of the Sunshine Coast’s, and Australia’s, most accomplished ceramicists, Johanna DeMaine, will open at Caloundra Regional Gallery on Friday, March 6.

The exhibition, titled Johanna DeMaine: the form : the function : the aesthetic, spans DeMaine’s five decades of practice, including early functional ware, the decorative and ornamental, through to recent works incorporating new techniques and imagery that combine the influences of the Sunshine Coast and Japan.

DeMaine’s highly sought-after artworks are held in private and public collections both nationally and internationally, including the British and Danish Royal Family collections.

Caloundra Regional Gallery collections curator Nina Shadforth said the exhibition celebrated DeMaine, highlighting the origins, development and influences that have shaped her work.

“Curating this exhibition and having the opportunity to exhibit this collection of Johanna’s work at Caloundra Regional Gallery, is truly an honour,” Ms Shadforth said.

“Johanna is held in great esteem by her peers, and she’s renowned for her highly decorative and functional forms, where she exquisitely depicts the beauty of her surrounding regional environments of Landsborough and Arita (Japan).

“Over the years, Johanna has finessed her craft and achieved a reputation for a design aesthetic that really sets her apart. The lushness of her recent body of work is breathtaking and seductive, and imbued with radiance, placing her amongst the most sought-after ceramicists, not only in Japan and the Sunshine Coast, but nationally and abroad.”

Johanna DeMaine said form had always been central to her work; the three dimensional presence that draws the eye and displaces space in such a way as to create a communication of beauty inviting the viewer to a closer intimacy.

“In my work I explore the notion that the sublime is an extension of beauty,” DeMaine said.

“The work explores my inner and outer space through the use of preciousness. I attempt to achieve this through the use of higher levels of skill, precious materials and contemporary technology whilst actively pushing all to their limits.

“My work can be seen as iconic, in that it celebrates the ritualistic and raises the object above the everyday. I pay homage to the beauty of my environment by portraying natures icons: the Glasshouse Mountains. I endeavour to interpret the feeling of the mountains floating eternally like ships through space and time bridging two cultures and thereby creating our unique Australian culture.”

Former curator, Decorative Arts at Queensland Art Gallery, Glenn Cooke said Johanna De Maine was, without question, the most distinguished ceramic practitioner now working in Queensland.

“DeMaine was inspired by the example of superb craftsmanship exemplified by Carl McConnell (1926-2003) and Gwyn Hanssen-Pigott (1935-2013) and, like her mentors, she continues to explore and challenge the boundaries of her chosen medium,” Mr Cooke said.

The exhibition will be on display until Sunday, April 26.

The exhibition has been made possible thanks to support from Johanna DeMaine, the Sunshine Coast Art Collection, Museum of Brisbane, Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery, Caloundra Arts Centre Association, Gladstone Regional Art Gallery Museum, QAGOMA, Arts Queensland the Robert Hannah Collection and private lenders.

Skye Leong
Author: Skye Leong

Creativity, Community, Culture