Gudrun Klix is an internationally awarded ceramic artist.
“My work represents an exploration of and response to this island nation that I have adopted. Its fragility, beauty, colours and textures; its interior remoteness, isolated geography as well as geological origins never cease to astound and interest me. While much of my work is a response to the land, I’m also very interested in the relationship of the relative newcomers to the country who tend have an ambivalent and exploitative view of it, which at least in the past has been severely damaging., not only to the environment , but also to the people themselves. Roots and relationships to the land are not deeply embedded in history. Consequently much of the land and environment has become degraded.
My work with clay attempts to come to terms with some of these issues, visually addressing both the incredible beauty of the land, but also some of the problematical attitudes and consequences of our actions. I frequently utilise terra cotta for its colour as it is reminiscent of the Australian desert landscape, while its brittleness conveys the fragility of dry leaves, slender bones, and the tenuous anchor of life itself.
Whilst clay references the earth and its ancient beginnings through its physicality, geology and chemistry, it also speaks of our presence in the world-our cultural history, our spiritual beliefs, material culture, ornament, sensitivities and how we respond to the environment that we live in..
Pieces that look as if they are made of bronze reference the mineral rich environment that is found in much of central Australia. Flying over the landscape one becomes aware of the great diversity of geological strata that has come to the surface over eons of time. Monumental rocky outcrops are common. These are of extraordinary diversity of colour and texture.
I’m interested in how finger or tool marks on the inside of a form interact with the shape of marks of the outside. These come together at the rim, where inside and outside meet and unwittingly determine the profile of a piece, just as the topographic shape of a mountain determines its profile against the horizon.”
I enjoy working with fresh plastic clay, its malleability, its texture, the ridges left in the process of forming, the way it records every touch of the hand or tool. For me it is important to stay open to how form, shape and texture unfold as I work, to watch what develops, to trust one’s instincts and to stop at the right moment. It is the sense of the unexpected, the discovery of new shapes textures, forms and relationships that drive my work.