3 years ago I was working away in my studio at Fusions Gallery when a Japanese fella with great hair wandered in. His name was Kenji Uranishi, and we’ve been sharing a studio ever since! He’d just moved over from Nara, Japan, where he ran his own ceramics studio, and now he is here to stay - which is lucky for me, because I can’t imagine working with anyone else!
It’s been a nomadic existence for us. One studio was demolished, another was relocated (without us!), and residency after residency has lapsed. We've gone from old churches, to old aircraft hangers to old museums! And sadly, this week our 1 year residency at the Sculptors Society is up. And until our next studio is ready (hopefully just a few months away!) we are going to join the many other artists and craftspeople in Brisvegas who work under their Queenslander houses. I have blisters on my hands after cleaning out the underneath of my house, painting floors and walls and dragging shelving and kilns and moulds and boxes all over the place trying to make it a workable space! It’s getting there!
We’re a little bit anxious! We’re so used to working together, to having company, to bouncing ideas off each other, working through technical hiccups, getting feedback and advice, having other artists drop in for a cuppa, or just hanging out and working in companionable silence. It will be very strange indeed working on my own!
Working from home does have its advantages and I’m excited about some aspects of it. It’s just that I like being part of a community, I like the energy and the dialogue and the collaboration and the exchange that comes with a shared studio. I know these things don’t have to centre only around studios, and can still happen in lots of other ways, but sometimes it can be difficult to maintain when everyone is so busy trying to eek a living out of what they do. In shared spaces it just happens!
We’ve received an incredible amount of support from so many people and organisations over the last few years, and I really don’t know how we could have continued working without them. So I just want to thank all those folks who have helped us out – Stephanie and Fusions, The QLD Sculptors Society and Mark, everyone at Southbank and Gateway Tafe, Rod, Joe, Scott, Ronelle, Jill, Darren, Ray….and of course, Kenji san! Thanking you all muchly!
In the meantime I will just enjoy the fact that I can work in my pyjamas now if I want, that I can run upstairs and have a quick nap while waiting for my moulds to dry if I feel like it, or that I can nip outside for a quick spot of gardening if the urge takes me!
Here's some pics of Kenji and his damn fine work!
(you can read more about him here and see more pics here). Kenji and I are also about to embark on a collaborative project that we’re very excited about! Details coming!