Photo Credit: Greg Piper

A Stitch in Time, ceramic h27 w11 d11 cm

A Stitch in Time, ceramic h27 w11 d11 cm Photo Credit: Greg Piper




10AM TO 4PM, TUESDAY TO SATURDAY (closing at 1pm Sat 24 November)

‘… Embellishments are intended to give pleasure.  People long to tell you what they imagine you want to hear.  They want to amuse you; they want to amuse themselves; they want to show you a good time.  This is beyond hospitality.  This is art.’  Isobel Fonseca (Author)

I began by making a collection of needlework ‘samplers’ intending to use them to texture the clay slabs with which I would construct my pieces. I carefully selected the fabrics and thread and began to sew – quickly realising my lack of knowledge and skill. I found the process of stitching frustrating, boring and laborious but at times (as I got better at it) enjoyable, creative and contemplative.

Needlework and embroidery are often dismissed as decorative and frivolous – mere mindless embellishments that have no meaning or purpose. As I stitched I began to think about the very human and often feminine desire to embellish. Why do we feel compelled to add to things which function perfectly well without embellishment – a piece of fabric, a ceramic vessel, a story, or even ourselves? I don’t think the reasons matter, they are many and varied, but what is of more significance is that someone cared enough to create something that would give pleasure to themself or others. This is the true value of any embellishment.

Clare Unger was born in Zimbabwe. She studied Fine Art at the University of Cape Town majoring in Printmaking. While living in the UK she attended ceramic classes at a community college in London. After immigrating to Australia Clare obtained a Certificate 3 in ceramics, a Diploma of Visual Arts (Ceramics) and an Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts (Ceramics) at the Northern Sydney Institute of Tafe (Hornsby).