28 February - 19 March 2013
about the exhibition
Using earthenware clay and an array of vibrantly coloured glazes, Jenny Orchard brings to life her hybrid ‘creatures’, each one possessing a unique personality and exhibiting a complete defiance of convention. Her work references the places in which she has lived and lives as well as her fascination with European tradition, African and Aboriginal mythologies, Australian contemporary culture and the environment. This intermix of elements combined with the decorative tradition of clay expresses her interest in the interconnectedness of life, culture and form. Jenny explains that her creatures are all multispecies; they embody a multiplicity of forms without implying a hierarchy. Her plates allow her to explore in more detail a single aspect of her beings and concurrently reference the traditional history of the plate as a decorative and functional object. Jenny’s hybrids are at once plant and animal yet show signs of the technological exploitations and explorations that have created them. They rejuvenate within us a child-like wonder of life on the planet, and conversely invite us to contemplate the darker notions of our meddling with it.
Born in Turkey, Jenny grew up in Zimbabwe and emigrated to Australia in 1976. She studied at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in 1980. Jenny has exhibited widely in Australia and has participated in shows in Japan, Germany, Italy and the USA. Her work has been extensively acquired and is represented in collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Powerhouse Museum, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of South Australia and National Gallery of Victoria.