Sydney, New South Wales, Australia born 1944
Studio Road 2
Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia
Materials & Technique: ceramics, plates, stoneware with gravel glaze stoneware: gravel glaze
Bill Samuels’ works embody a distillation of the physicality of the Australian landscape. His open bowl forms and complex, rock-like glazes are inflected with the spirit and technique of traditional Japanese shino tea ceremony ceramics. However, through the use of common materials, such as gravel, these works become strongly connected to place and his observance of its nuances. Embracing an aestheticised poverty of material and accepting the result of the object’s metamorphosis during the firing process is central to the appreciation of the tea ceremony. Samuels avoids direct imitation of this aesthetic, using it more as a touchstone for a way of transforming abundant and ordinary elements that are close at hand. Studio road 2 is visually precarious, elevated and balanced on three shard-like ceramic legs, offering itself to the touch and inviting meditative contemplation of the subtle complexities of its materials.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra