New exhibition explores place on the goldfields

November 30, 2022 BY

Pencil and clay: The Chosen Vessel exhibition is the first joint show from ceramicist Belinda Michael and illustrator Tiffany Titshall. Photo: SUPPLIED

A THREE-YEAR collaboration combining drawings and ceramic works is set to be on display at the Post Office Gallery next month.

Running from Wednesday, 14 December until Friday, 3 February, the upcoming exhibition titled Chosen Vessels is a joint showcase from ceramicist Belinda Michael and illustrator Tiffany Titshall.

The works were inspired by the short story collection of the same name by Barbara Baynton, and Michael said the “multifaceted” themes are about place within the Victorian goldfields.

“It’s about history, feminism, sexuality. It’s about our place in the world now, specifically central Victoria which is where Tiffany and I are,” she said.

“It’s wanting people to ask questions about those things and their place in the world and expressing our own experiences.”

The show features 13 large ceramics alongside smaller tile works and test pieces, a panorama of four drawings, and background sketches that depict the planning of the vessels.

Titshall said the subject matter in the works feed into a central theme.

“My panorama depicts a good percentage of the themes that are on the vessels all composed into one landscape,” she said.

“The different figures and the things they’re doing on the vessels are all set in this classical backdrop of the Australian landscape.”

A Talbot resident, Michael has been making ceramic works for 14 years while Titshall, based in Majorca, has been drawing for about 30 years.

Michael said their locations were a definite influence on the exhibition.

“Tiffany’s drawings especially are made with the local landscape as a reference. You can see on the vessels hills, rocks, trees that actually exist,” she said.

“We took the darker aspects of that past and turned it on its head. There’s different stories but a narrative that threads from beginning to end.”

An opening night with ABC Radio National presenter Natasha Mitchell will take place on Friday, 9 December.