Jenny Orchard and Dale Richards

‘At the heart of my ceramics and art practice is a yearning for connection,’ says Sydney-based ceramicist, Jenny Orchard, whose hybrid forms explore liminal states of being while celebrating the diversity of material form. This exhibition presents new sculptures and drawings by Orchard alongside paintings by Tasmanian figurative artist Dale Richards. With dream-like images – from surreal representations to disproportioned compositions – Richards’ subjects occasionally border on the melancholic. This two and three-dimensional assemblage of their work promises to be a visual treat.

Dale Richards, A day at the Bluff, 2017, oil on board, 122 x 122cm, signed LR. Courtesy the artist and Despard Gallery, Tasmania

‘Dale Richards has been represented by Despard Gallery for over twenty years. His distinctive surrealist imagery, in oils and works on paper, are in numerous private and public collections, nationally and internationally. Dale had his first solo show at the age of sixteen. Fifty years on, the works have retained their energy, still edgy and at times challenging with robust figures, sailing boats and windswept seas. Dale lives in a beautiful small coastal community of South Arm, around 35 minutes out of Hobart, idyllic coastal views that have been inspirational in many of his works.’ – Steven Joyce, March 2018

Jenny Orchard studio view, Sydney, February 2018. Courtesy the artist and Despard Gallery, Tasmania

‘The Imagined Possibility of Unity was the name of my recent installation at the Sid Myer Ceramics Award exhibition at Shepparton Victoria. This new body of work continues to explore those ideas of community, inclusion and the way we see ‘outsiders’ or those ‘other’ to our accepted norms. They are creatures from my ‘Hidden Suburbs’. Creating spaces where communities thrive outside of normally accepted paradigms must begin with their imaginative conception. I create stories around my creatures which reflect legends and tales from the past, as well as engaging with a world of rapid change where species are drastically disappearing, and where genetic engineering and digital enhancements accelerate. The work of art and story, taking up discourses of the present and their connections with past is a continuing preoccupation in my work.

Whilst the narrative flow is important, the ways form, surface and colour can work together intrigues and challenges me. Ceramics can put life into form, provide endless colours and textures and give shape, energy and vitality to the constructed creature. My totems signify natural growth, change and endurance in our increasingly digitally constructed world.’ – Jenny Orchard, April 2018

Despard Gallery
1 to 24 June, 2018