Based in Lyttelton, ceramicist Cheryl Lucas has been making and exhibiting since the 1990s. Her work consistently explores the relationship of people to landscape – social, environmental, and catastrophic.
The work in Skedaddle draws its inspiration from Aotearoa’s divaricating plants. These are plants with twiggy stems that regularly divide at wide angles to form tangled, woody, sometimes thorny shrubs. Matagouri/tūmatakuru is one of the better-known examples, as is the juvenile form of black beech/tawhairauriki, and rōhutu.
The prickly, protective nature of these plants seems an apt metaphor for New Zealand in the age of COVID-19....
Some shapes are more obviously vase-like. Others contain cartoonish suggestions of insects, sheltering fortress and basket-like structures, tangles of angles and holes, and some shapes that might be alien coral or greatly magnified foraminifera – or perhaps a virus.
Cheryl has been the recipient of many important awards for her work including the Sculpture on the Peninsula Premier Award in 2011, the Portage Ceramics Merit Award in 2017. Also that year she was made a member of the International Ceramic Association, IAC, and in 2019 was awarded the Creative New Zealand Craft/Object Fellowship.
– Andrew Paul Wood
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