Pippin Drysdale: Portraying the Sensations and Colors of a Landscape

Posted by Bob Soppelsa
November 7, 2010
Tanami Desert Radiance by Pippin Drysdale

About the Author: Bob Soppelsa is a curator with ART in EMBASSIES.

As Secretary Clinton arrives in Australia, ART in EMBASSIES presents a different perspective on the art of diplomacy.

Artist Pippin Drysdale translates the colors and patterns of the semi-arid landscapes of Western Australia into exquisitely crafted and finished ceramic art designed for display as a collective. The assemblage of seventeen pieces depicted above, collectively entitled Tanami Desert Radiance, features simple shapes that echo and contrast with each other. The warmly-colored surfaces embellished with finely-drawn lines reference abstract linear patterns of indigenous Australian art.

The art critic David Bromfield describes the work of Pippin Drysdale this way: "Drysdale thinks of the development of each series of her vessels, in this case the Tanami series, as a journey back to the sensations and colors that she first experienced traveling through the landscape, engaging with it at a distance and at close quarters. Both dream and memory are therefore intense fragments of sensation, pattern and color. There is no picture, no composition no cipher for the land as whole. There are merely sensations so intense that they can act as a detailed guide to the form of each vessel, to the quality of glazes, the dry, dense or silky surface and the patterns and shadows that fall across it.”

Drysdale's work has been shown internationally, including the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC. Tanami Desert Radiance is currently on loan to the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Canberra, Australia.

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