Menu Close
  • When1 September to 22 October
  • Opening Event Thursday 31 August 6pm

Jardinière in English refers to an ornamental dish, a receptacle or a stand in which a potted plant sits. Its function is to bring the wilds of nature into a domestic setting. In French the word denotes a ‘gardener’ – someone who tends to plants, flowers or vegetables, who seeks to cultivate and establish a sense of wonder – much like an artist.

Painter Ruth Waller and ceramicist Toni Warburton share a fascination with the earthenware artefact – vase, jar and figurine.  Their complicity has generated a dialogue in which they adapt and modify their idioms to establish a common ground.

For Warburton the container is an archetypal form. It is energised by associations with the earth. Alluding to coral species, algal blooms, fossilisation, and carapaces – her work is inspired by nature’s diversity. She works between Gadigal and Gundungurra land.

For Ruth Waller “the motif of the vase or jardinière planter becomes a holder of the eye, a kind of key to the painting from which to push the play of figure/ground, shape/form and form/space in ambiguous ways.” Ruth draws much of her inspiration from urban nature reserves in the suburbs of Canberra on Ngunnawal and Ngambri land.

You are cordially invited to the opening of the exhibition on Thursday 31 August, 6pm. In conjunction with Backwash, the exhibition will be officially launched by Dr Peter Alwast, Head of Painting and Masters Convenor, ANU School of Art & Design. No registrations are required to attend.

Image Left: Ruth Waller, Sprouting bowl in pink, 2023, acrylic on timber panel and balsa blocks, 65 x 26cm, 2023. Courtesy the artist and Nancy Sever Gallery. Photo David Patterson.

Image Right: Toni Warburton, Oyster catcher vase, 2022, glazed raku clay. Private collection.

The Drill Hall Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.