The Law of Superposition states that in any sequence of layered rocks, a given layer must be older than any layer on top of it. A basic law of geochronology, it is fundamental to the interpretation of Earth’s history and understanding the order of things. For Ari Athans, who studied Geology and worked in the mining and exploration industry before training in jewellery and object design, it has become the foundation on which she forms her art practice.

Materiality, experimentation and transformative states are constant threads in Ari’s work. Science informs the process, but so too does intuition and emotion. Using mild steel and enamel, she reimagines geological interactions and events as fantastical new landscapes that represent passages of time and moments of being. Her stacked ceramic forms are a natural progression of this highly sculptural painting style, allowing human interaction in physical space and encouraging contemplation on geologic time and how we relate to it.

Ari Athans studied a Bachelor of Applied Science (Geology) at University of Technology Sydney (1988), before completing her Diploma in Gemmology at the Gemmological Association of Australia (1989), and Associate Diploma of Arts (Jewellery Object Design) at the Sydney Institute of Technology (1994). A finalist in the Moreton Bay Art Awards (2017) and Smart State Designer at the Design Institute of Australia (2008), her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows through Australia and internationally such as Sydney Contemporary (2020); Trace 4101 Festival, Brisbane (2019); Expanded discrete states, Artisan Brisbane (2018); 15 Artists, Redcliffe Art Gallery (2017); Silver, Museum of Brisbane (2014); Freestyle, Melbourne Museum, Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, Object Gallery and Milan Museum, Italy (2007); Blurred Boundaries, Kick Arts Cairns (2007); South Project, Santiago Museum, Chile (2006); Self, United Kingdom tour (2004); Schmuck, International Handwerksmesse, Munich (2001); and X-Ray Craft, Queensland Art Gallery (1997).

Carrie McCarthy 2020