2023 Grad Show

Lisa Blackwell

AUArts Grad Show Screen Shot 2023-05-16 at 3.13.36 PM


Working with clay is an extension of my curiosity and observations of nature. All life forms are processes, not things. We catch a single moment in their continual development when we take the time to pause and notice. Through a community or an assemblage of interconnected participants, my ceramic sculptures illustrate such a moment and offer an opportunity to consider nature from a new perspective. I find the organic plasticity and material immediacy of clay the perfect medium for the slow intensive working process that gives my ceramic objects a tangible physicality. The meditative progression of hand building also relates to the natural succession of growth and decay. I emulate and re-imagine details of organic forms such as botanical reproductive organs or the emptiness of a spent seedpod. I study and reflect on the hidden lives of plants and fungi. I find the biological imperative of growth and the mutual symbiotic relationships between fauna, flora and fungi provide sources of hopefulness and optimism in these challenging times.


This work stems from a series of exercises in new hand building techniques and research for glaze interactions for the final work of Symbiosis.

Poetry and Plants

These images are of work completed in my first semester at AUArts. The first three are from a 25 piece installation made out of clay and fibre, a reflection on the poem, Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes, by Billy Collins- at once a nod to her genius and a metaphor for reading Dickinson's poetry.

The final two images arose because of my interest in the studies of plant architecture by 19th Century photographer, Karl Blossfeldt. Over the years my process of form and surface development have been influenced by Blossfeldt’s approach of looking closely, meticulously, at the structures of plants and their patterns of growth.


Currently I am examining multi-species connections and intersections. The processes and presence of other species have emerged as key contributors of my ambiguous, biomorphic ceramic sculptures.
Thinking through making, I find solace in translating the internalization of my life experiences through clay in these capacities. The need to create with authentic voice and the desire to share and connect through my art work as a supporter of land and life are vital to my practice.

This site may contain artworks with provocative content that some viewers may find uncomfortable or upsetting. AUArts supports a culture of non-censorship and ongoing conversations about contemporary art.