Clay Dynasty celebrates studio ceramics in Australia as shaped by three generations of makers: from the 1960s pioneers who transformed the functional pottery tradition to contemporary ceramic artists who continue to push the medium. The first major exhibition to chart the astonishing diversity of ceramic practice across Australia, it features more than 400 objects from the Powerhouse’s significant ceramics collection.
Clay Dynasty offers new perspectives by displaying ceramics of the crafts movement alongside postmodern and contemporary artworks of today. Distinctively Australian works complement those inspired by other cultural traditions, bold forms contrast with meditative objects and fine porcelain.
Iconic and lesser known works are brought together, including Margaret Dodd’s Blue Holden ceramic car which feminised the iconically macho FJ Holden of the 1970s, and Joan Ground’s ceramic postal parcel which the artist addressed to a Melbourne gallery in 1973. Among works never before on public display is the spectacular 70-piece collection of some of the earliest pottery made by Australian Indigenous makers in 1967–74 at the Bagot pottery in Darwin, Northern Territory.
Bringing together functional and expressive artistic traditions, Clay Dynasty reassesses the Australian experience, while highlighting the creative potential of clay at a time of a remarkable resurgence.