Sunday 6 April 2014

showing off

my part of an exhibition at the  
murray bridge regional gallery, s.a.

How does your garden grow

From the moment, many years ago, when I first bought a piece of land, I have gardened. Vegetables, herbs and flowers. My latest garden in Victoria, is situated next to the forest. While gardening one day, I realised how the forest is the perfect garden. Self contained, it supports many species. Since that moment I have modeled my garden on the forest example. Observe. Leaving things alone mainly.

‘the exhibition of stillness’

When, during the mid-eighties, I returned home from 8 years of traveling, during which time my true education began, I set up a studio and started making ceramic bowls. The inspiration of these came from a meeting with an American Indian medicine man who, one night, took me outside and, while pointing at the first moon, a thin silver bowl filled with light, said: “We call that the receiver”. I found this a moving and poetic moment. I took it as my direction.

The bowl is a most satisfactory form to work with. From that beginning my bowls have gone through many changes. Always the same. Always different. Until this moment in time, where the bowls are the result of my many years of bowl making.

Then, while walking in the forest recently I watched a leaf slow-falling to the ground, I became aware of the silence of the trees. I found myself listening.

During my ongoing journey along the ceramic path, where each bowl represents a step, I found myself again in the forest and there, written amongst the trees, a message. This became my inspiration for this exhibition.

Using imprints from the forest floor, I have created aspects of that which speaks to us from our family of trees. Aspects such as ‘the nothing becoming the everything’, ‘the primal stillness’, ‘things not known but remembered’, plus ‘the total silence of decay….’

Everyone of my project starts with a return to the source. From there I find a new direction again and again. Something raw with something refined. And there lies the necessary tension in the work. The tension which gets the attention.

Advice i received: 'plant something every day'


  1. so happy to be sharing space with you Petrus.

  2. Petrus you've certainly planted something for me.
    An artist is a receiver, a conduit.
    Your garden, I see, is growing from the ground up, from the moment of stillness when whatever happens, happens from a deep need, a groundswell.
    This is a poetic post I feel inadequate responding to.
    I hope your bowls sell well and travel far, like the seeds of a tree capable of taking hold in receptive earth.