Today I drove to Windsor to visit Hawkesbury Regional Gallery where I was keen on seeing Juz Kitson's artwork in a show on contemporary ceramics.
I was fortunate enough to meet Juz whilst on an artist residency at Hill End earlier this year and was excited to see her work in a gallery space, having only seen it in progress in her Hill End studio.
Juz's delicate and sometimes confronting forms are so exquisitely beautiful and shocking that I found myself in a contradictory state of sensual delight and intrigued disgust. Joseph Brennan of Australian Arts Review says of Kitson's work-
"In art discourse, the sacred/profane metaphor is a recurring dichotomy. Freud used this metaphor when exploring the divide between love and desire. He argued that, in art, where we love we do not desire and where we desire we cannot love.
Emerging artist Juz Kitson challenges this view through her sculptures and ceramic installations, which seek to make sacred the profane. "I have an interest in ever so slightly repulsing the viewer at first experience," Kitson said. "They are unsettled. This uneasiness then turns into wonder and in a later stage, fascination." Working with a range of materials - including wax, latex, clay, alpaca wool, seaweed, horse and human hair and bone - Kitson is interested in exploring what she terms "uncomfortable territories", captivating her audience "by quietly shocking and seducing them". The context and properties of particular materials are also important. The use of latex, for example, is sometimes a statement within itself, "Only having a life span of less than a decade ... like ourselves it will perish"; while the locale of found objects have trapped within them a history, for example, bones collected from Hill End."
Kitson is a 2009 ceramics Honours graduate of Sydney's National Art School and is on a trajectory to becoming one of Australia's most fertile and innovative contemporary ceramicists. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!