Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

Still Life with Grey Bowl, 1995
6 pieces: 3 bottles, 2 tall jugs, 1 bowl
. Wood fired porcelain
each stamped with roundel on base

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Completed during artist's residency in Ballarat, 1995
Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney
Purchased by the present owner from the above in 1998

'Gwyn Hanssen Pigott', Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney, 1995
'The Raw and the Cooked', Oxford Museum of Modern Art, England
'Gwyn Hanssen Pigott', Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney, 1998, cat.4

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott's 'Still Life with Grey Bowl' (1995) is characteristically comprised of several finely crafted domestic forms, carefully arranged into groups that the artist calls 'still lives' or sometimes, 'families'. Fittingly, each piece in this family - including 3 bottles, 2 tall jugs and a bowl - are unique in their precise form and colour, and yet sit together in a complete and compelling harmony. Hanssen Pigott has been working as a potter for almost 50 years and is one of the most well-respected and internationally celebrated ceramic artists working in Australia. Drawn to the translucent qualities of Limoges and Southern Ice porcelain, she brings an enduring nobility to her vessels by virtue of her laborious hand paring of their forms, and burnishing of their surfaces. Her ceramics are perfectly formed as imperfect objects; each vessel's mouth pursed in its own unique expression.

The title 'Still Life with Grey Bowl' is characteristic of the artist's naming of her work, and points towards the influence of modernist still life painting traditions on her practice. The artist is particularly inspired by the formal arrangements of Giorgio Morandi, and her chosen palette and arrangements are modulated with the poise of a painting. However while the pieces in 'Still Life with Grey Bowl' are 'still', they never seem inert. These are forms that demand to be viewed from every angle. Hanssen Pigott is also interested in the potential dialogue these pieces may have with their environment, such as the placement of the artwork near the changing light of a window

  • Still Life with Grey Bowl

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Born in 1935, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott is one of Australia's most acclaimed contemporary potters with a career spanning five decades. She is best known for her elegant still life arrangements of delicate porcelain bottles, pots and vessels, which appear to form intimate portraits referencing human forms and relationships. These works, which she began creating in the late 1980s are inspired by the still life paintings of the Italian twentieth-century artist Georgio Morandi, and her palette is derived from the China's Song Dynasty wares introduced to her in her early apprenticeships with influential English potters such as Michael Cardew and Bernard Leach.