01 May – 25 May 2019
Madeleine Child is a Dunedin based ceramicist. She was born in Sydney in 1959 and moved to New Zealand in 1968. Child graduated from Otago Polytechnic in 1978 with a Ceramics Certificate, went on to study a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Ceramics at Camberwell School of Art and Craft in London in 1990 and in 1992 graduated from London Royal College of Art with a Masters in Ceramics and Glass. She then attended Central Saint Martin’s College of Art in London.
Child returned to New Zealand in 1994. Alongside her own practice, she began working collaboratively with Philip Jarvis. She was a Senior Lecturer and Head of School at Dunedin School of Art from 1997-2011. Her work has been exhibited widely in New Zealand and internationally, including the Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Pataka Art + Museum, The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, and the International Ceramics Festival in Mino, Japan. She has been finalist and award winner multiple times in the Wallace Art Awards, Dunedin Art Awards, and Portage Ceramics Awards. In 2008 her work was included in The Dowse Art Museum exhibition the Magic of Mud, and in 2014 at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in Sleight of Hand. Her work is included in the collections of The Dowse Art Museum, the Otago Museum, the Auckland War Memorial Museum in New Zealand, and the Frans Hals Museum in the Netherlands.
CLODS – It’s hand picked, It’s readymade, a Readymade. It’s a lump, lumpen. It’s two faced, five faced, plastic, rock hard. It’s painting – finger painting paste over the manky bits. It’s mucking about outside collecting.
TOGGLES – It was seeing those tiny weeny thrown ceramics in the Museum that made me want to try working much smaller, and then from some recess I remembered Gillian Lowndes showing me Netsukes (but I was way too busy back then getting my college moneys worth making huge things), 16th Century Japanese carved sculptural functional kimono pocket holding fashion accessory toggle artefacts with their Anything Goes subjects and either ricecake shaped or elongated with slits or solid 3d compact forms, and meant to be handled or rather fondled, fiddled with; and then if you muck about on the wheel these pretty much make themselves as throwing is always pulled up or poked at or opened out and then collapsed, either innie or outie, a thing or a hole, vessell or lump, positive or negative, and there’s that Grook about everything being either concave or -vex so everything being something with sex.
‘a small rough clay study for a larger sculpture —used especially of baroque sculpture. Italian, diminutive of bozzo sketch, rough stone, alteration of bozza, literally, swelling’
Marie had given me these homegrown knobbly potatoes that instead of eating I had stuck on nails in the studio where they continued to sprout bulbous noses and prompted raw clay heads with monster grog stuck in, and then I poked in other bits of fired ceramic and must have googled potato heads and got Mr Potato Head which I hadn’t known about but funnily enough was walking down a street I had never been to before and there in the window of this house was a giant Mr Potato Head.
Madeleine Child, 2019