Maria Vanhees

Artist Statement & CV

My work is inspired by the natural forms and landscapes that I encounter during bushwalks.

I’m especially interested in forms of animal architecture that have a quality of sheltered protection, or in hollows, curves and remarkable shapes in rocks and trees which I irresistibly have to curl up in or climb into.

I create my biomorphic ceramic sculptures with a variety of hand building techniques. The flashings and marks on the surface of the glazed pieces are the result of soda firing to earthenware temperatures.

The slow and hands-on building processes allow my intuition to take over until it feels as if the clay is working with me rather than the other way around. It is in this process that I reconnect with the original experience of inspiration. However, even though the forms originate in my personal life, in the end they become metaphors of human emotions and social relations that everyone can relate to.

Exhibitions

2010
‘More than Skin-Deep’, La Trobe University Visual Art Centre, Bendigo
‘More than Skin-Deep’, Ochre Gallery, Collingwood
‘More than Skin-Deep’, Phyllis Palmer Gallery, La Trobe University, Bendigo
‘ICMEA2010: Interpretation of Ceramics’, Exhibition & Competition for Emerging Artists, The 3rd ICMEA Conference 2010, Fuping/Jingdezhen, China
‘Keramiekparcours’, Keramiekatelier Academie – SLAC, Norbertuspoort, Abdij van ‘t Park, Leuven, Belgium

2009
Stirring, Skepsi on Swanston, Melbourne
‘Celebration: A Group of Regional Ceramic Artists’, Phyllis Palmer Gallery, La Trobe University, Bendigo

2008
Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award’, Shepparton Art Gallery
Mini Solo Show in Foyer of Visual Arts Centre, 121 View, Bendigo

2007
‘Castlemaine State Festival Visual Arts Exhibition’, Old Castlemaine Gaol

2006
‘Ceramics Victoria on Show’, Gallery 159, Brisbane
‘Electric, A Victorian Ceramics Group Members’ Exhibition, Kiln Gallery, Northcote Pottery, Thornbury

2006
‘Spiritual Contours’, Ochre Gallery, Collingwood
‘2006 Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award Exhibition’, Shepparton Art Gallery, Shepparton

2005
’10 @ 121’, Honours exhibition, Visual Arts Centre -121 View, Bendigo
‘Victorian Campus Art Exhibition’, Community Arts Centre & Town Hall, Box Hill
‘The Rhythm of Studio 21/2’, Phyllis Palmer Gallery, La Trobe University Bendigo (June 2005). (Article in The Bendigo Advertiser)
‘Poised’, A Victorian Ceramics Group Members’ Exhibition, Kiln Gallery, Northcote Pottery, Thornbury
‘Castlemaine State Festival Visual Arts Exhibition’, Old Castlemaine Gaol, Castlemaine

Awards

Jetset/Telstra Countrywide Studyarts Australia Award (La Trobe University Bendigo, 2005)
Pat Emery Award (‘Poised’ Exhibition, 2005)
Northcote Pottery Award (‘Final Folio Exhibition’, 2004)
Tin Shed Arts Award (‘Final Folio Exhibition’, 2004)
Highly Commended Prize for Ceramics (‘Bendigo Student Association Art Exhibition’, 2004)

Representation in Collections

La Trobe University Bendigo
Private Collections in Australia and Belgium


Education

2006-2009 PhD, Visual Arts, Ceramics, La Trobe University, Bendigo
2005 Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours), Ceramics, La Trobe University, Bendigo
2004 Bachelor of Visual Arts, Ceramics, La Trobe University, Bendigo
2003 Higher Degree in Ceramics (pending), Academie De Lei, Leuven, Belgium