CERAMIC STORY: Sandra Taylor's Long Distance Swimmer 1996 was acquired by Grafton Regional Gallery.
CERAMIC STORY: Sandra Taylor's Long Distance Swimmer 1996 was acquired by Grafton Regional Gallery. Simon Hughes

Aussie artist makes major debut in Grafton

THE first major retrospective by leading Australian artist Sandra Taylor is being presented by the Grafton Regional Gallery.

True Stories 1975-2017 presents new and existing works by this significant Australian artist who burst onto the art world with her painted figurative ceramics in the early 1970s.

Gallery director Jude McBean said Sandra's work had a profound influence on ceramics and visual arts.

It was a dramatic move away from the influence of the medium and of Chinese and English ceramics as it embraced new ceramic materials and the new ideas of the role of art.

The artist uses experiences in her environment to produce a powerful narrative that captures the moment in which they were created. The first works tell stories of the artist living in Sydney, of people living and experiencing the economic good times of the 1970s. When she moved to the wilds of Buccarumbi, in the bush south of Grafton, her work changed dramatically in response to living in a remote and rural area.

Here she continued teaching and working in ceramics. She established a relationship with the Grafton Regional Gallery when it was established in 1988 through exhibitions and artist talks. The gallery acquired its first work with the support of Arts NSW in 1994 - Le canard, le cow, le menu 1992.

Last year, the gallery bought Long Distance Swimmer 1996, a work reflecting the artist living in Murwillumbah, in an urban setting.

When she moved to Coraki in 2001 her art progressed to painting and drawing, something she said she had been doing for a long time, just on clay instead of paper and canvas. The change of environment presented new stories, a search for the spiritual and expression of losing loved ones.

An extensive catalogue that accompanies True Stories was designed by renowned Australian designer, Harry Williamson and made possible with the support of The Gordon Darling Foundation. True Stories continues at the Grafton Regional Gallery until September 9.

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