artisan Collects x Peta Berghofer
29 July - 26 August 2022
Launch 29th July | 6:00pm
artisan Store - 45 King Street, Bowen Hills
artisan Collects is an initiative that supports emerging artists, encourages art collection and advocate the value of craft and design. Every two months artisan curates a range of high-end work by a select artist to be exhibited in our retail space. artisan Collects will launch it's second showcase of work by the Queensland based artist, Peta Berghofer. Based on Giabal and Jarowair lands (Toowoomba, Queensland).
Berghofer’s practice is interested in clay's long-standing ability to record history and reveal human behaviour. Her ambiguous forms sit between sculpture and function, often appropriating common domestic objects to explore elements of material culture. Whether functional or functionless, Berghofer’s self-referential ceramics are most often presented as the same body of work, exhibited as abstracted still-life environments. Here she plays with distinctions between gallery and domestic spaces, engaging with historic and contemporary tensions between art, craft, and design.
We are inviting our community of makers, collectors, and art enthusiasts to join us for the Peta Berghofer x artisan Collects launch event. The artisan collects launch offers an opportunity to meet the artist, listen to artist talks and preview or purchase the work of some of Australia’s most exciting emerging craft and design makers.
In conversation with Peta Berghofer
artisan caught up with Peta Berghofer to get to know a little more about her, and her practice.
What is your preferred title?
I mostly prefer artist but sometimes ceramicist or ceramic artist.
How would you describe you work?
Colourful, ambiguous forms. They are ceramics about ceramics.
What mediums do you work in?
Pretty much exclusively clay! Often colour stained by hand but ranging in type from low fired earthenware to gritty raku clays to finer porcelains.
How did you develop your skills (education and training)?
I began making ceramics in 2013 when I started my Bachelor of Creative Arts at the University of Southern Queensland. I went on to complete my Honours year in 2016, with the rest down to stubborn persistence as I haven't stopped using clay since.
Why do you create? Tell us about your journey so far and what motivates and inspires you to make?
Since starting with clay I’ve been interested in the history of ceramics and where it fits now within the context of contemporary art. Forever, ceramic vessels have been used to navigate, record, and understand the world. I guess in its most simplistic sense, I'm just doing the same.
Where do you create? Tell us a little about your studio space and process.
I create in a tucked away, upstairs studio space in Toowoomba's CBD. I share the space with eight other artists. It’s an old, gutted office space with heaps of charm and a quiet nature.
Do you have any favourite soundtracks or other rituals that help to set the scene when you are creating?
If I’m being honest, I listen to a lot of disco music. I like to dance, and I guess making a sculpture is like a dance of sorts so disco fits. However, towards the end of a studio session I often switch to a podcast. At the moment I’m listening to The Ceramics Podcast hosted by American artists Cammi Climaco and Gustav Hamilton.
Do you have any pets?
No pets, sadly!
What does collaboration mean to you in your practice?
Collaboration provides a shift in gears. It allows me to think in ways I usually wouldn’t. It’s the best for creative blocks as it lets you see your practice through someone else’s eyes. It’s one of the most special things about being an artist I think – letting someone else into your practice and all its personal intricacies while simultaneously seeing into theirs.
What is the inspiration behind your current work? What themes do you work with?
My work is interested in clay's long-standing ability to record history and reveal human behaviour. My ambiguous forms sit between sculpture and function, while often appropriating common domestic objects to explore elements of material culture. Whether functional or functionless, my self-referential ceramics are most often presented as the same body of work, exhibited as abstracted still-life environments. Here I aim to play with distinctions between gallery and domestic spaces, engaging with historic and contemporary tensions between art, craft, and design.
Dreaming big, where can you see yourself in 10 years?
Practicing full-time, that's the dream in a nutshell. I couldn’t ask for more than that, however, I do fantasise of doing a residency in London's V&A Museum studio that sits within the vast ceramic collection. That would be a total dream.
Share something of interest about your life or work that may not be obvious.
I spend most of my week working as a Visual Arts Technician at the University of Southern Queensland. Fridays are my sacred studio days and often the weekends too.
Share any awards you have received, milestones or exhibitions your work has been included in.
In 2019 I travelled throughout France and Denmark after receiving the Bellmaine French Appreciation Travelling Scholarship from the University of Southern Queensland. This opportunity allowed me to attend residencies, make work uninterrupted and exhibit internationally for the first time.