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Ebony Russell

 Frown Face: Gold Polka Frown Trophy

Ebony Russell_Frown Face: Gold Polka Frown Trophy

Piped mid fire clay, glaze and gold lustre

29 x 24 x 17 cm


A short book written in 1956 on Women in Antiquity inspired me to begin creating forms mimicking Greek and Roman vessels. Traditionally these forms are richly illustrated with women celebrated in daily roles, rituals, and myths. Mortal or immortal womenkind was a more independent and influential figure in these pre-history times. My unorthodox ceramic piping technique was developed out of an interest in gendered aesthetics and labour. Craft, ceramics, and fancywork collide with gold lustre framing my sentiments referencing wealth, social status, and the classically feminine interior.
Nine years into the #metoo movement and my disappointments in recent events from criticism of Grace Tame withholding a smile to the American reversal of Roe v. Wade are evident in this work. Grace Tame does not owe you a smile and neither does my polka frown trophy.

Ebony Russell is an Australian ceramic artist who uses an unorthodox approach to construct ceramic sculptures. Her unique technique was developed out of an interest in gendered aesthetics, labour, and traditional craft practices where Russell methodically pipes porcelain in a series of intricate layers to build gravity-defying forms. Challenging the traditional making processes of decorative vessels; in her works, the decoration becomes the structure, and the boundaries between the two are erased. Exploring established perceptions of cultural and artistic practices that were once exclusively coded as feminine and thus insignificant, Russell’s work celebrates the decorative, promiscuous aesthetics and politics of purity; the superficial, excess, and delight – with pleasure.

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