The Inside Story: ceramicist Garry Bish

Opening this Saturday at Bendigo Art Gallery is an exhibition of new work by accomplished and respected Australian ceramicist, Garry Bish. Through his work, Bish investigates how images on the surface of an object can transform and distort perspectives, creating visual ambiguities that alter shape, volume and interpretation.

The inside story offers an installation of ceramic vessels united in form and surface, grouped to allude to an architectural landscape dense with illusion. As part of the creation, an array of glass bottles from central Victoria dating back to the goldfields have been individually moulded and reproduced by slip-casting in white stoneware clay, and are displayed alongside hand built vessels.

Garry Bish, studio portrait 2017. Photograph: Ian Hill

Garry Bish, studio portrait 2017. Photograph: Ian Hill

With a nod to Escher, the visual narratives presented by Bish draw attention to major issues in contemporary society. When discussing the work, Bish acknowledges his concerns about how we are dividing up the landscape. With every new development, another section of the landscape is contained. It is this domination of the natural environment and ‘vesselisation’ of space that deeply concerns the artist. Each chapter of Sprawl is example of the compounding impact of rampant urbanisation and the ongoing consumption of resources and space.

With his independent studio established in Epsom in 1972, Bish has lectured in ceramics both in Australia and internationally for many years. His work is held in numerous private and public collections, including Art Gallery of Western Australia, Australian National Gallery, National gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, and Bendigo Art Gallery, and he has been the recipient of several awards. Following on from his PhD on the enigma of pictorial illusion and its representation on three dimensional ceramic form, The inside story is the culmination of years of research for Garry Bish.

The architectural intelligence adorning the works that form this major installation and the geometric virtuosity demonstrated by Bish is compelling. With mesmerising layers of form and perspective, The inside story questions the relentless drive for development and brings a concerning view, both locally and globally; a world of change, uncertainty and complexity. It is a chance to contemplate our future and our impact on the space we inhabit.

Bendigo Art Gallery invites you to meet the artist on September 20, with a free morning tea at 10am followed by a talk by Garry Bish at 10:30am. This event will be held at the La Trobe Arts Institute, 121 View St. Hearing loop available. Limited numbers. The exhibition continues until November 11.