Kate Carruthers and Michael Warner – The Fire and the Flood

X Gallery Bungendore until 8 February 2021
32 Gibraltar Street, Bungendore, NSW
Open Friday to Monday or by appointment, phone 6238 0550

It is clear that the 2019-20 bushfires were a deeply etched experience for both artists, who are residents of Braidwood, and yet there is a spare restraint in their work.

Barbie talks to Kate Carruthers and Michael Warner on site at X Gallery

Ash from the 2019-2020 fires in the Braidwood district are mixed into the glazes in Michael Warner’s pots. The wood burnt in their home fire and the kiln was from fallen and damaged trees and branches in those fires, cleared by Michael in the clean-up process.

His collection on show at X Gallery is thus truly phoenixesque, with beautiful earthy glazes, simple elegant lines and shapes and generous dimensions, a reflection on the making process.

Kate Carruthers, always a popular artist at X Gallery, and with an almost immediately sold-out show, has made work exploring both the fearful destruction of that lost summer and the small signs of hope in regrowth and the newly vivid green landscape in the summer of 2020-21.

Her love for the clouds and the elements is clear and she has a skilled hand in depicting the vast skies and ever-changing weathers of this region.

The apparent simplicity of the artists’ pieces displays consummate skill in their respective métiers.

Michael Warner brings a Japanese sensibility to his pots, his stint training in Japan evident in both his approach to the work and his product. Kate paints with the same thoughtfulness, paying homage to the vastness of the sky and the land and the power of nature to destroy and remake itself.

Image – paintings by Kate Carruthers, pots by Michael Warner, X Gallery.