New handmade artworks at SAM

By John Lewis

A new display of ceramics at Shepparton Art Museum aims to celebrate the unique craft of the artist's hand in an age of automation.

In a partnership with Craft Victoria, SAM will present the work of Melbourne-based ceramicist Zhu Ohmu in its Showcase#23 which runs from today until November 6.

Titled Way to Your Heart, the exhibition features several of Ohmu's large coiled clay pieces which explore the resurgence of slowness and handmade artefacts in an age of mass production.

SAM director Rebecca Coates said Ohmu's work was initially a response to the rise in popularity of 3D printed ceramics and the imitation of systems of nature.

She said the artist's works were built through stacking, folding, pressing and pulling moist clay. Forms emerged through ebb and flow and were often pushed to their structural limits. 

She said unlike a printer, the artist could detect the slightest change in the properties of the clay body under different environmental conditions.

Ms Coates said spending time with the physical material allowed the artist to manipulate the clay, meaning no two vessels can be the same. 

Originally from New Zealand, Rose Wei graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in 2012 and now works in Melbourne under the pseudonym Zhu Ohmu.

Ohmu will lead two workshops at SAM later this month.

On Saturday, August 24, a paper-cutting workshop for 7- 15 year-olds will be held from 10.30 am to noon. Cost: $15. To book go to Eventbrite 

Later on the same day, Ohmu will hold a clay-making workshop to create a handmade funky planter from 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm. Cost $45. To book go to Eventbrite

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