ARTEFACTS: Cast-off objects, organic life forms

Collection Highlight

Jenny ORCHARD, Amy 2008, Ceramic, 61 x 30 x 29cm, Purchased 2008
Jenny ORCHARD, Amy 2008, Ceramic, 61 x 30 x 29cm, Purchased 2008

This bright and idiosyncratic ceramic sculpture was purchased from the artist's solo exhibition "The Sky Was Clay Until They Cried" held in 2008 at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. Jenny Orchard is one of Australia's leading ceramic artists whose work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, all state galleries and in many regional galleries in Australia, as well as collections in Japan and America. In recent year her ceramic sculptures have been a feature of Sculpture by the Sea in Sydney.

Amy is one of the series of monsters created by the artist to pay homage to extinct species. They are inspired by cast-off objects, organic life forms, wild fantasies and a conviction there is beauty in diversity. The collaged sculpture is formed by the artist taking casts from vegetables, chicken feet, human hands and found objects to assemble into the creature's form. Sculptured clay and surface decorations including glazes finish the sculpture.

Jenny Orchard is a contemporary artist, living and working in Sydney. She has travelled a unique path of making figurative hybrid ceramics called Zookiniis or Interbeings, totemic forms and vessels since the early 1980's. Her current work includes drawing, painting and collage and is preoccupied with exploring liminal states of being, and celebrating the diversity of material form.

Jenny has exhibited widely, taking part in International shows and conferences including the second Jakarta Ceramics Biennale in 2014, Art from Australia at the Gail Museum in Seoul, and Uncertain Paradise at the Imazoo gallery Seoul 2015. Her work has featured in Sculptural Objects and Functional Art at Chicago and Miami, Ceramic Art from Australia at the Tao Gallery Tokyo and Sculpture by the Sea in Sydney in 2009, 2010 and 2011.


The wonderful Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA) is currently brightening up the Gallery. The JADA is the gallery's flagship biennial art prize graciously sponsored by the Friends of Grafton Gallery and continues to celebrate Australian contemporary drawing at its finest.

JADA Finalist, Cher Breeze, Moments with self, 2020, graphite on paper, Courtesy of the artist
JADA Finalist, Cher Breeze, Moments with self, 2020, graphite on paper, Courtesy of the artist

The JADA celebrates drawing in all its forms. From the expressive and the abstract, to the hyper-realism that is beyond belief, the works evoke a poetic and emotional response to our environment and the human condition. Many of the finalists selected question and challenge the notion of the traditional drawing, while others provide a contemporary perspective and reinvigorate those traditions.

This year that tradition of excellence continues with 56 artists selected from a record 659 entries for the exhibition which will continue its touring legacy, travelling to communities across Eastern Australia promoting contemporary drawing to regional audiences for the next two years. JADA is on display until Sunday November 22



Summer Sensations Artist Call Out

Submissions are now open for the Gallery's annual Summer Sensations exhibition.  The exhibition showcases artwork across all mediums and features artwork from emerging and established artists Clarence Valley artists.

Summer Sensations was inspired by the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The Summer Exhibition has been running continuously since 1769 and is the world's largest open submission art show and brings together art in all mediums - prints and paintings, film, photography, sculpture, architectural works and more - by leading artists, Royal Academicians and household names as well as new and emerging talent.

Summer Sensations will be on display in Prentice House from November 27 2020 - January 1 2021. Visit for information and to download a form.

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