Juz Kitson, installation view, Sidney Myer Fund at Shepparton Art Museum, 2019. Photographed by Christian Capurro.
Juz Kitson was selected as one of six finalists for the 2019 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award. The SMFACA is one of the most prestigious awards in the visual arts in Australia, with a uniquely ceramic focus.
Kitson’s chosen materials reflect ideas of fragility, transience and permanence. From delicate black and white Jingdezhen and Dehua porcelain, hand-blown glass, reclaimed textiles and the pelts of animal road-kill, Kitson seduces us with her highly tactile yet fragile installations that beg the question – but what is it?
Titles are as curious as the objects themselves, making the familiar unfamiliar, challenging our ideas of beauty and the grotesque in the process. In the suspended work and large wall-based pieces, Kitson played with ideas of delicacy and robustness, as large bulbous blown glass pieces represent breast-like forms, possibly sap oozing from a tree, or maybe even visceral bodily fluids.
Kitson’s installation included microscopically detailed and obsessively drawn wallpaper making reference to botanical imagery of invasive and non-invasive plants. Meticulous detail reveals an interest in regenerative cycles of life for humans and plants and offers a black and white base for a series of installations in black clay and porcelain of flora and fauna found in regions across Australia and Asia.
This installation invited the audience to question our human connection with the origin of the species and the evolutionary relationships between plants and regeneration. Depicting visceral and abject elements of life, sex and death, the overall effect produced may be repellent, while simultaneously seductive and alluring.
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