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Australian Ceramics Triennale

Once every three years there is a huge national celebration of contemporary ceramics. It’s massive, it’s exciting and never-before has it been hosted in the NT. For its 16th edition, the Australian Ceramics Triennale is presented on Arrernte Country, where the earth and its clay are red hot and ancient, Mparntwe/Alice Springs the place to be.

By Zoya Godoroja-Prieckaerts

After three busy years of preparation, Central Craft is thrilled to be producing the Triennale, highly aware of the incredible opportunity it offers local artists from the region to showcase their work on a national scale. What’s more, is the opportunity to emphasise First Nations people, culture and land – a change from previous years, and warmly welcomed.

As a medium that requires the earth’s precious matter – not only clay, but glazes and other materials inherent to the ceramics process – the triennial brings into focus protocols of permission, consent and best practice when it comes to working On Country and extracting from Country. This priority has been driven by the local programming committee, keen to bring these conversations closer to the surface and into mainstream dialogue.

This Triennale, we finally see this conversation brought to the fore, and not as mere tokenism, but embedded deeply as part of every single event in its extensive program.

Running over five days, the program is indeed extensive. While the “main event” is the three-day conference, there are also 12 exhibitions showing around town, nine masterclasses, a Makers Film Festival, a bustling Marketplace, and a rare opportunity to peek at the Pitchi Richi Sanctuary with its 20 William Ricketts sculptures.

On top of that, there’s an array of events happening either side of the Triennale, taking advantage of the bursting creative energy in town to showcase local music, performance, and art. With an event on every night and dotted all over, Central Craft laughed they were “trying to take over the whole town, really!”.

The small team should be proud of the program they’ve created, and us folks in the Centre should be seriously excited for what’s about to come our way. With stellar artists coming from all over the country and venues around town gearing up for their unique shows, we are so lucky to get to soak up all the knowledge, sharing and beauty that will no doubt permeate through this significant event. Make sure you check out the program – with paid and free events, there’s something for all of us.

Australian Cermaics Triennale

Thumbnail & inset: Group of Hermannsburg Pots Ntaria 2020, Photo: Bec Capp
Header: Touch by Suzi Lyon and Mel Robson, Photo: Suzi Lyon

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