When viewing Anita Larkin’s A shield to carry you, you can see the porcelain is stark white against the gritty frayed suitcase it delicately rests on. Curling pink and puckered at the edges, the ceramic piece captures the imprint of the artist son’s torso.
To create this imprint, a plaster mould was taken of her subject. The porcelain is then pressed into the mould, manipulated to create detail. But it is not this artistic process that solely drives her; Larkin explores the way in which porcelain has a life of its own while it is being moulded, through change and chance. According to Larkin, even a piece as solemn as this should be grown in a playful environment where letting go is key.
‘Art can bypass rational thought and tap straight into complex memory and emotion, this is what I find interesting about making objects.’ – Anita Larkin
Collected objects also contribute to this ceramic sculpture. A toy appears to crawl like a snail up the side of the suitcase, only to be trapped by a thick brown belt. Throughout her work, Larkin marries ceramics with collected everyday objects. Interested in the relationship people have with objects, Larkin believes objects have the ability to evoke powerful memories and feelings:
‘Used functional objects are witnesses to a moment in time and place, to memory…Collected objects are especially evocative…’ – Anita Larkin.
Born in Australia, Larkin graduated from Sydney College of the Arts in 1993. She went on to exhibit at both solo and group shows across New South Wales; the Wynne Prize, Sculpture by the Sea, University of Western Sydney Acquisitive Sculpture Award, the Blake Prize and the Beijing International Art Biennale only just scratch the surface. Currently, Larkin is a sessional lecturer in sculpture at the National Art School in Sydney and earlier this year she commenced her Doctorate of Creative Arts at Wollongong University.
Larkin’s work and nine other artists are currently on display at Hurstville Museum and Gallery until 18 April 2019. Beyond the Bowl highlights and celebrates the diversity of Australian contemporary ceramics and glass.
Anita Larkin is represented by Defiance Gallery, Sydney.
For further information, please refer to Anita Larkin’s website.
‘Anita Larkin – Educational Resource’, Hurstville Museum & Gallery, http://www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au/StGeorge/media/Documents/ANITA-LARKIN-Educational-resource.pdf