Danielle Thiris


Danielle Thiris


Egg Assembly
ceramics and glaze, plinths made from powder coated MDF
approx 110 x 60 x 30cm
$3,650 installation with plinths

This body of work evolved through experimenting with malleable clay egg shapes (both hollow and solid) knocked together into cube-like formations. I came across the work of Eduardo Chilida, Damian Ortega and Gomi Kenji and enjoyed the shapes and line work that was evident within their compact constructs.
My constructed cubes fell apart after their bisque firing and although I was initially disappointed, they looked more intriguing when they came away from each other. Each egg retained the unique indentations of the neighbouring egg that it was cushioned up against whilst drying. So I continued to make more knocked up egg cubes knowing that they were going to fall apart.
I chose to leave some in their bisque form as I enjoyed the process markings of the varying clay bodies against each other. Most were taken to earthenware temperatures, some mid-fire and a few to stoneware. I spent many hours playing with all the eggs once they were cooked and de-constructed. That was the fun part, trying different arrangements and compositions with all the different cooked pieces. Hours of play, they felt like adult building blocks and I enjoyed asking other people to make their own arrangements with all the pieces and seeing what they came up with.
Finally, I thought about colour & surface. Once the arrangement and context of the eggs was somewhat established in my mind I came up with a palette based on a favourite installation piece by Ernesto Neto, essentially dreamy pink and camel colours.
What do they mean? I’m not entirely sure. I’ve been reflecting on the notion of “family” recently, birth families, blended families & extended families; and how these experiences can inform aspects of our being. Perhaps these are a meditation on those reflections. As Elizabeth Murray (Chicago born Artist) said “You don’t always know what you’re revealing, and you don’t always know what you are concealing….”
I tend to start with colour, it’s something I’ve always been mesmerised by and something I appreciate immensely. Observing the interplay of colour in everyday life is something I’ve naturally done from a young age. Having only recently come across to ceramics, I’m quite excited about the scope of what’s possible in glaze world, you can cook up a fully shiny pink or a dry peppered apricot. The science of glaze development fascinates me and is something I’m keen to continue exploring.
I like to be surprised by what I create, sometimes throwing my notion of formal aesthetics in the bin. I guess I like to push the awkward and tend to resist the creation of “beautiful” objects. I’m more interested in where I can take things, that element of not knowing what the end result will be and what you discover along the way, those experiential shifts that go on to inform future makings, ometimes without you even realising it. So I guess I’m more interested in the space between beautiful and awkwa, ut in a harmonious way.
Given I’ve just started out in ceramics, I’m spending a lot of time experimenting and observing the work of other artists, ceramicists, sculptors and painters.
Sometimes I wonder why I love making things so much, I guess it just feels good and makes me feel quiet and at eas. I get lost in the play and all else falls away (most of the time). Stories evolve, narrative starts to form, meaning starts to imbue itself, onlookers share their observation and then they just evolve from there.

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