FLOOR TALK SATURDAY 30 JUNE at NOON
MEET GAIL NICHOLS and KAREN O’CLERY
Gail Nichols is a Braidwood resident who is recognized internationally for her unique approach to ceramics. She is famous for the generous, even voluptuous forms of her vessels, to which she applies a distinctive soda vapour glaze. She has devised a unique, greatly admired approach to her materials and the process of firing. Her works are readily identifiable because of their soft organic forms and evocative atmospheric surfaces. After 30 years of specialising in ceramics, she has unexpectedly developed a passionate interest in fibre art.
Nichols’ fascination with rug-hooking was prompted by attending The Agony and the Ecstasy at the National Gallery of Australia, where she encountered a set of tapestries based on Arthur Boyd’s pastel drawings. Impressed by the vibrant way these woven tapestries had brought Boyd’s works to life, Nichols was inspired to explore the potential of textile media.
In her discovery of rug-hooking, she was won over by the immediacy and tactility of the process, and found she had a natural aptitude for this work. Rug-hooking allowed the freedom of working directly with colour and allowed the design to evolve during the making process. She exploited these new- found freedoms to celebrate the landscape surrounding the rural property at the foot of Mt. Budawang near Braidwood, NSW, where she lives and works. This exhibition, curated by Karen O’Clery surveys the transition from Nichols’ long engagement with ceramics to her new and compelling medium of textiles.