Bec Smith & Kirsten Perry
16 – 26 February 2023
Thursday 16th February 2023, 6 – 8 pm
Meet the Artists:
Saturday 18th February 2023
Catalogue & Price List:
View PDF Catalogue
Saint Cloche warmly welcomes back Bec Smith presenting alongside popular Melbourne-based ceramic artist Kirsten Perry to reveal our first pas de deux of 2023 – ‘Interchange’.
Bec Smith and Kirsten Perry are two friends who over the years have had conversations about their art practices while walking their dogs at their local dog park. After forming a connection through sharing their creative process, they realised how much they had in common as dog-lovers, friends and artists and an idea began to germinate and grow, that one day they would like to work together.
Over time, Bec and Kirsten have learned about each other’s ‘modus operandi’ on a more intimate level and for this body of work there has been a subtle, gentle shift and influence. The process has also forged a stronger bond within their friendship.
Bec is a visual artist who draws on her design background to make meaning from her day-to-day life experiences, observations and interactions using painting as her central medium.
Kirsten is a ceramic artist who utilises plaster mould making process to make slip cast and press moulded ceramic forms. Mostly utilitarian, her forms are highly textural and show evidence of her gestural hand making process.
Bec Smith is a Naarm / Melbourne-based artist who has practiced art and design in both Australia and overseas for over 25 years. In pursuit of her creative practice Bec studied at The Art Academy in London, the Art Room in Melbourne, RMIT and Swinburne National School of Design where she holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.
She has always stayed particularly interested in abstract, non- objective, and colourfield paintings – a natural extension of a designer’s grounding in the early visual language of the Bauhaus, Modernists, Op, and Abstract Expressionists movements as well a deep interest in social and psychoanalytic practices, which underpin her first career as an Experience Designer.
Her works are realisations of actual and idealised situations around structural and systemic dynamics translated into static moments – liminal spaces depicting personal stories of fiction and non-fiction, ruminating on duality and multiple truths. Bec has participated in the Belle Arti Prize, Melbourne Design Festival, Sydney Contemporary, and her work is held in private collections. Bec Smith is represented by Saint Cloche Gallery.
I’ve admired Kirsten’s work since discovering her pieces in Hotel Hotel, Canberra in 2017. I found them to be unexpected, delightful, and inspiring. I took photos of them in the cabinet to remind me to be free.
On our project together Kirsten nudged me onto a detour I needed, the title ‘Interchange’ is apt because from the beginning she encouraged me to play and explore without judgement, to cut and paste and see what comes. I was encouraged to use lo-fi materials such as cardboard to explore – the process was utterly refreshing.
Prior to this, I had wanted to step sideways from combined harmonious compositions, and instead look directly at points of intersection and aim for more dynamism, where lines and shapes are offset without rationality.
– Bec Smith
Kirsten Perry is a Naarm / Melbourne based ceramic artist. She predominately slip casts mid-fired functional and non-functional vessels that pay homage to traditional ceramics. The bio-morphic objects she creates are initially carved from disposable materials such as foam and cardboard, then translated into ceramic. Something is gained in this translation, somehow more than the evidence of the process. Kirsten’s practise highlights texture and often exaggerates imperfection. She is attracted to flaws and vulnerabilities.
Kirsten has bachelor’s in fine art and Industrial Design from RMIT University, and an Advanced Diploma of Electronic Design & Interactive Media, RMIT. Kirsten has exhibited in a range of Australian and international galleries and has won the 2021 Klytie Pate Ceramic Award and the 2021 Stanthorpe 3D Cast Art Prize, and has been a finalist in various sculpture and ceramic awards.
Her work was acquired by the Gold Coast City Gallery in 2016. She has completed ceramic residencies in Germany 2017 and Peru 2018 and took part in a secondment at Kailea Arts Indigenous Art Centre at Shepparton, Victoria in 2022.
‘The miraculous interchange that makes things work, that causes one thing to nurture another, that creates the future out of the past.’
– Mary Oliver
Twists and turns you would not necessarily except. Connections made and explored, an exchange that is mutually attractive. An interchange must have some common characteristics, a compatibility, but also enough difference that creates a little miracle.
This work is composed of modular units that can be arranged in various forms. Like building blocks, train sets, pipe works, the units have a playful tone that build a narrative. The texture of the objects shows evidence of my hand and the soft glaze colour palette, additionally reaches gently out to the colours and shapes in Bec’s paintings.
– Kirsten Perry