Artist Creative Process
Suvira commenced ceramic productions in 1990, after 8 years of formal study he conducted a ceramics practice with multiple areas of research. His practice has had domestic dinnerware and vessels as a central focus, although he has also produced a wide range of landscape interpretations and sculpture. Recognising the limitations of sculptural ceramics in the public domain he developed strong sculptural statements with other more robust media such as steel, wood and stone - often combined with each other and ceramic elements. He has received awards and been acquired into public collections for this work. The exhibition history running concurrently with the researches is diverse. Suvira recognised that three dimensional art forms are under-serviced in a curatorial and coordinated sense in this region and has taken it up to bring artists together in various ways over the last few decades. This has been in any of the media in which he works in an effort to further promote and exhibit three dimensional media. He curated Ceramics Surveys, which had two editions one at Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Ballina and one in Fusions Gallery, Brisbane. In each, a profile of artist working in the ceramics medium was projected, demonstrating the diverse range of practices in the Northern Rivers region and particularly in the Shire of Byron. Also, such exhibitions as Table Manners, that had three editions, combined the talents of potters, sculptor, furniture maker, painter, textile artist, ikebana artist and food stylist. These exhibitions were held in Byron Bay at still@thecentre Gallery and two editions in Ballina at Northern Rivers Community Gallery. All three were well received, memorable exposures of the multi disciplinary works and were at the forefront of the wave of popularity of handmade ceramic dinnerware and presented the work in the context of imagined dining settings (albeit with a styled flourish). The exhibitions attracted sponsorships from a variety of quarters and good sales for the artists and galleries. He was invited to Korea as an exhibitor at Gangjin Celadon Festival and his work rests in the collection there. More recently he has finished a long term project involving the construction of a traditional anagama, Japanese-style wood fire kiln which recently had the sixth firing with favourable results. Some of these results were exhibited at ‘Smoke on the Water’ National Woodfire Conference 2017. In other sculptural areas he curates the sculpture for the Byron Writers Fest and has initiated the Mullumbimby Sculpture Walk, both ongoing presentations of sculpture of the region, the latter involving a development of the profile of public art in Byron Shire. This initiative has recently received substantial funding support from Arts NSW. Both these projects demonstrate a decision to focus on local presentations of sculpture and strengthen its presence in this region. This is augmented by the public presence of his work throughout Byron Shire. He also served on Byron Shire Council’s Public Art Panel for 6 years until 2016. Academically, he was awarded a Diploma in ceramics from Lismore TAFE in 1994 and, building on his degree in Commerce (UNSW) from 1970, was granted candidacy and subsequently awarded a Masters Degree in Visual Art from Southern Cross University in 2000. He has been a teacher of ceramics and sculpture for 20 years including sessional work at SCU. A practicing visual artist for nearly 30 years, Suvira’s previous career spanned 20 years in theatre and the associated performance, choreography, directing, design and administrative aspects. An ability to coordinate and manage projects was developed in that time.
This work results from gathering discarded materials from the landscape over a long period. The fence posts are virtually heritage objects and probably 100 years old. They represent the colonial settler invasion of land and the manner in which agricultural practices developed, dividing land in the arbitrary and money-oriented way we do . They have been resurrected for another life as totemic indicators, assembled with disused railway hardware and characters from my painted saw-cut vocabulary.