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Katherine Smyth: Zoomorphic 2014


Fri 23 May 2014, 10:00am–6:00pm
Sat 24 May 2014, 10:00am–6:00pm
Sun 25 May 2014, 10:00am–6:00pm
Tue 27 May 2014, 10:00am–6:00pm
Wed 28 May 2014, 10:00am–6:00pm

Where: Milford Galleries Queenstown, 9a Earl Street, Queenstown

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: Milford Galleries

Katherine Smyth invites a menagerie to the table in Zoomorphic. Polar bears, hippos, and crocodiles are welcomed to afternoon tea, and these ‘wild things’ find their place alongside more familiar creatures, their everyday names assurances of a newfound domesticity.

Smyth references a long tradition of the figurative in ceramics, and these pieces recall the spare, suggestive lines found in pottery from Neolithic to Ancient Egyptian to 10th-century Persian ceramics. Throughout history, animals in the form of oil lamps, wine jugs, and serving bowls have adorned tables and altars, serving as indicators of status, religious symbolism, or a sense of humour on the part of the maker.

The vessels in Zoomorphic appear at first glance to be functional objects but closer inspection reveals different. These are not practical items: the handles and spouts might suggest a possible use, but form does not follow function in this case. The basic forms of jugs, bowls, and containers have grown paws and tails, snouts and ears, and during this morphing have ‘lost sight’ of their original purpose. Smyth has re-purposed tableware to ‘table-wear’ and invites viewers to enjoy the shapes, textures, and surfaces of the objects for themselves.