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Anna Culliton

Anna Culliton is a ceramic artist working in the Kanimbla Valley, west of the Blue Mountains. Her work is mostly figurative, typically involving scenes of people and companion animals in domestic situations. Her ceramics pieces portray a gentleness and hope for the peaceful co-existence of all beings large and small.

 

“My animals do not actually belong to me. They live close to my heart, and for this exhibition I have invited them in to my home to be part of my domestic life.

 

Living in the beautiful Kanimbla Valley, I have the good fortune of sharing my surrounding with very special native fauna. I moved here, with my family, 21 years ago as Sydney escapees. In that period of time we have done a great deal of regenerating to our surrounding landscape and the outcome is phenomenal.

 

My animals are so precious, and so vulnerable. I love to think of our home as a reliable and safe place for them to reside in. Our coats that hang at the doorway are where the micro bats return to after an evening of hunting. The Grey Shrike Thrush family have a nest at our laundry door. Our orchard is not netted so there is plenty of fruit for the little gliders, and even our roses are on offer.”

 

Anna Culliton

 

“In contemporary Australian art, figurative ceramics are usually ironic or subversive. What are we supposed to make of Anna’s, which are neither? There’s no point in trying to see her works in a broader politico-aesthetic context, in positioning them somewhere on the contested spectrum between craft and art, because she is so unfazed by any concerns about her place in the scene, herself. The key to appreciating Anna’s productions is to move constantly between seeing them as a crowd, and focusing patiently on the specifics. The sheer numbers indicate her obsession with her craft. It’s a whole benign community she’s creating, down there in that beautiful dip in the hills.”

 

Sarah Engledow, curator, National Portrait Gallery, 2016.