August 10, 2021
'KIDS THAT ARE BANNED FROM THE SQUARE'
Antoinette O’Brien’s subjects are tender tough. Just learning to smoke and fight and get dressed without being told how. They are the innovators, influencers and magicians on the streets. But there is something else that brings these sculptures together. Most of these kids sit, squat, lean on a support. Some quotidian piece of street junk like a milk crate. Except look at the glaze, the colour, it has been made significant. As has the folding stool, the wall, the rock…. These are the things that help tether us to our environment. These supports bring structural balance to each sculpture while putting forth a good question: if you are going to ban me from belonging, what will hold me now? - Jaimee Edwards
LISMORE REGIONAL GALLERY - GALLERY 5
7 AUG - 26 SEPT 2021
Image: Louie 2021 ceramic, costume jewellery, fox fur, 48 x 41 x 38 cm
June 26, 2021
Living in Lismore New South Wales where she runs Basso Studio, multi-disciplinary artist Antoinette O’Brien is currently working in clay, creating a series of busts and full-figure sculptures. Whilst she has always maintained a studio practice, Antoinette has come into her own recently, working towards a diploma in ceramics. The arresting faces of her ceramic forms gaze out with a lifelike intensity, revealing a consideration of painting techniques. High fired and glazed through multiple firings including reduction, oxidation and lustre, the clay is pushed to its limits, resulting in tearing and buckling that speaks to themes of endurance and precarity. With glazes made from scratch and tested extensively, Antoinette approaches her craft with discipline and was recently awarded the Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize by esteemed artist Abdul Abdullah. Antoinette is preparing for a solo exhibition at Lismore Regional Gallery in August this year.
Featured image: Antoinette O’Brien, Sitting Pretty. Ceramic and found object, 47 x 36 x 28cm
June 26, 2021
2020 HURFORD HARDWOOD PORTRAIT PRIZE
The 2020 Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize is a national portrait prize administered by Lismore Regional Gallery open to any media. 2020 judge Abdul Abdullah, named Antoinette O’Brien as the winner of the $10,000 acquisitive prize for her portrait of Helen Deravenchecko, saying: ‘The combination of ceramic elements in the work drew me into a story about memory, and how moments attach themselves to our experience.’ Abdullah also recognised Michelle Dawson with a highly commendation for her portrait of the late Vera Wasowski