15 February – 4 March 2018
about the exhibition
Dr Cathy Franzi is a highly regarded ceramic artist who lives and works in Canberra. She says of her practice, “I investigate ways in which representations of Australian flora on ceramic vessels can communicate ideas about the current environment. However, it is the love of being in nature that gives me a passion for making – to find ways to express the character of each unique plant and the diversity, and fragility, of environments they inhabit.” This first solo exhibition by Cathy with Beaver Galleries stems from a recent residency at Bundanon, (the former Boyd family property), situated on the Shoalhaven river. Each piece is a response to the landscape and cultural history of the area, “of moments finding Rock Figs and Rock Lilies found in hidden escarpment, seeing my first sighting of rare rainforest Red Cedar, experiencing the quiet of dry ridge Casuarina forest, recognising iconic hillsides of majestic Spotted Gum and seeing ever changing views across the river to Pulpit Rock.” Initially trained in science, her love of the natural world is exemplified by the botanical approach she takes to her work. Cathy adapts relief print making methods to her ceramics and makes her own tools to apply these techniques to a ceramic surface. Using a textural approach, she makes representative marks by carving through colour on the surface while responding to the form of each vessel she constructs on the wheel. A new departure for this exhibition is the terracotta work, the colour and texture of the clay mirroring those of the Shoalhaven soils.
Cathy graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney in 1985. Her interest in ceramics was formed during her early high school years and was revived after time spent working as a production thrower in a large pottery in New Zealand. In 2010, she completed her Masters of Visual Arts in the Ceramics Workshop at the Australian National University School of Art, then continued her studies there and was awarded a PhD in 2015. Cathy has undertaken several residencies over the years including at the Research School of Biology, Australian National University and the Bundanon Trust in 2016. In 2017, she was awarded a highly commended in the Clunes Ceramic Award and was a finalist and people’s choice winner in the Klytie Pate Ceramics Award. Cathy has worked as a teacher and lecturer of ceramics over her career and is the current president of the Australian Ceramics Association. Her work is held in collections including the Canberra Museum and Gallery, ACT Legislative Assembly, Parliament House Art Collection and Manly Art Gallery & Museum.