Those of us lucky enough to live in Ipswich know the charm of finding yourself down a street filled with Queenslanders and old timber homes, each with their own unique history and story to tell.
Working with ceramics, world-renowned local artist Jane du Rand wanted to express what she loves about living in Ipswich with her latest exhibition – Living in Ipswich – at the Ipswich Art Gallery.
She has explored some of Ipswich’s most iconic houses, along with some hidden gems, and recreated them as miniature ceramic sculptures.
Reminiscent of little stage sets, the sculptures first project the homes’ façades, timber fretwork and iron balustrades, and then, looking through the windows they reveal the intimate narratives of the lives lived within.
“I enjoy walking around Ipswich, looking at the houses and I find myself wondering who lives there,” Ms du Rand said.
“I want to explore the idea of how your physical home, the built structure, can interact with your life and show something of the person who lives inside.
“I have focused on the people living in
the Queenslander homes which are not necessarily marked as heritage and I look at how the occupants of these homes interact with them.”
Ms du Rand, who migrated to Australia in 2014, was the recipient of a Regional Arts Development Fund grant last year which allowed her to conduct research on the houses.
“I wasn’t specifically looking for heritage-listed houses, but rather homes that spoke to me. It was quite a personal choice,” she said.
“I jumped on my bicycle looking at homes and some would make me stop and I would think somebody interesting lives there.
“I could keep going on and on, there is such a wealth of people’s stories around here.”
Each intricate piece takes more than three days to make with carving taking the majority of time.
Ms du Rand hand-builds each scene, layer by layer, in white raku clay within a glazed ceramic frame.
Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chair Councillor Andrew Fechner said the Ipswich Art Gallery regularly shows the work of local artists, including those who have achieved international acclaim.
“Council is acquiring and conserving visual arts and objects of historic or social significance to the region for the benefit of Ipswich’s future generations,” Councillor Fechner said.
“The homes represented in du Rand’s artworks are not just beautiful wooden houses that can be found in abundance in Ipswich, but also a reflection of the residents who live in them.
“These works are part of our city’s vibrant creative sector, and Council is committed to promoting, supporting and advocating for all creators in Ipswich.”
Ms du Rand has been a professional artist in her discipline for over 25 years, mastering her techniques, style and process.
Living in Ipswich will be on display at the Ipswich Art Gallery at d’Arcy Doyle Place until 14 February 2021.
The gallery is open from 9.30am to 5pm daily.
It will be closed from 1pm Thursday, 24 December 2020 to Sunday, 3 January 2021 inclusive and
reopens 9.30am Monday, 4 January 2021. It will also be open on the Australia Day public holiday.