Frances Guerin artist

Women of Interest, 2019/20 White earthernware clay underglazes, satin glaze and onglazes, fired to 1100 degrees..

The tradition of face jugs inspired this series as the mega fires burned in Australia. I started with Greta Thunberg, then Jacinda Adhern, Jane Goodall, as so it progressed to Julia Gillard and Penny Wong and then various philosophers who have inspired me. Kristeva, Cixous, Woolstoncroft, then I realized there are so many! Then the exhibition was cancelled due to Covid....

Entering the stream

These paintings arose from a revelatory dream of the Shannon river in Ireland in 2018. I then researched the Celtic goddesses and gods and applied them to the Australian landscape as we faced the mega fires, droughts and Covid 19. I place my faith in the self regulating immanence of nature.

self portrait

Curriculum Vitae

 Qualifications: Master Visual Arts, LaTrobe University Bendigo 2013, Dip Ceramics, Fed University 2007 B. A. Hons Philosophy 1986 LaTrobe University Melbourne

2019 merchandise, living now Art Space Post Office Gallery Bendigo

2019 First prize Best Ceramic exhibit, Royal Melbourne Show

2019 Shortlisted Clunes Ceramic Award

2019 Shortlisted Manningham Ceramics Award, Melbourne

2019 Holy, honest confluences, group exhibition, ACU Gallery Melbourne. 2019 Castlemaine State Festival, Maldon Art Walk & Open Studios

2019 The Fertile Darkness, Containart, solo exhibition, City of Ballarat

2018 Biennale of Australian Art, Ballarat merchandise Hit me with your best shot, projection.

2018 Glenlyon Landscape prize winner

Commissioned artist Red Door Gallery Clunes

2017-18 Finalist Lot 19 Sculpture Prize Castlemaine

2015 -17 Finalist Clunes Ceramic Award Aug

2017 Stonehouse Gallery Teapot Exhibition Warrendyte

2017-18 Finalist, Toorak Sculpture Award

2017 Maldon Art walk, Castlemaine State Festival Jan

2017 Solo exhibition, ceramics, metal, wood and handmade book, Unicorn Lane Ballarat

2016 -19 Commissioned artist, Little Gallery Trentham 

2016 -7 International Women’s Day Honour Roll, touring photographic exhibition, Hepburn Shire

2015 Clayspace All Hands Exhibition, Convent Gallery Daylesford

2015 Solo exhibition, Oran Mor, Backspace Gallery Ballarat

2013-14 Daylesford Macedon Ranges Open Studios participant Documentary

2013 Master’s Exhibition, The Mare’s Nest, an examination of Irish heritage in clay, drawings, sculpture and animation, Phyllis Palmer Gallery LaTrobe University Bendigo

2012 Nil aon thintean solo exhibition Visual Arts Centre, View St. Bendigo

2004 Victorian tour manager for Tibetan nuns, Sand Mandala at Federation Square and venues throughout Victoria. Sponsored by Fed Square, Hep Shire, City of Bendigo

1998 -9 10 Silent Witness workshops for women in Loddon Mallee region who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault funded by City of Bendigo Cultural Arts Grants and Fletcher Jones grant, auspiced by L M Women’s Health

1998 Touring exhibition Loddon Mallee region, Melbourne, presenter, Dept Criminology conference. 

Finalist Manningham Ceramic Awards, First Prize 2019 Royal Melbourne Show

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Swansong, 2019 shortlisted Clunes Ceramic Award

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My kangaroos, paperclay, decals, and satin glaze fored to 1100c.

Biography

 Frances' background in philosophy and transpersonal psychology lends itself to deep inquiry into human consciousness which informs and generates her prolific art practice. She began having solo exhibitions of paintings in the early 1980s in gallery spaces in Fitzroy and Chisholm Gallery at LaTrobe University, Bundoora.

Around that time she introduced art making into her counselling work and subsequently was funded to create the Silent Witness Art Project with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. This exhibit was placed in public spaces around Melbourne and the Loddon Mallee region. She was funded by grants to run several workshops with women in various rural towns and presented the outcomes at the Australian Department of Criminology and Victims of Conference in 1996.

Subsequent grants from the City of Greater Bendigo were used to create a large art installation of women and men’s stories which was exhibited at the Firestation and Sacred Heart Cathedral Bendigo. Papers on this were presented at Loddon Mallee Women’s Health forum and published in various magazines.

Frances met with Tibetan Lamas in the early 1980s and has practiced and taught meditation in clinics, community health centers and at her studio for the last 30 years. In 2002 and 2004, she was invited to manage a tour of Tibetan monks who created a six day Sand Mandala at Daylesford Town Hall which attracted hundreds of visitors. Due to the success of this event she then managed a Victorian tour of Tibetan nuns who were allowed to make for the first time, a sand mandala publicly at Federation Square, and various venues around Melbourne and regional Victoria, supported by grants from the City of Greater Bendigo, Hepburn Shire, Federation Square and various funding bodies.

She purchased the Daylesford property to set up a studio and commenced studies at Federation University with Neville French and Mary Rasmussen which she considers a peak learning experience of pottery making, both in technique and vastness of ceramic history which has its genesis in the dawn of human discovery of fire. The elemental nature of firing earth clay is profound, unpredictable and as such a holy art. Glaze making and testing has parallels with the studies of alchemy where the transformation of various minerals creates a confluence with transformation of the spirit.

On completion of the Diploma of Ceramics, she completed a Masters Degree at LaTrobe University.

On the Wombat Forest property she recognized several aboriginal artefacts of flint and a birthing tree which were confirmed by local Dja Dja Wurrung elders. This powerful ancestral presence evoked a series of revelatory dreams in Gaelic language of Celtic legendary figures. She travelled to Ireland and found the ancestral home and was transfixed by Ireland’s unique contemporary public art. On gaining independence from England in early 20th Century, Irish Identity was reconstructed in the Republic based on Celtic legend. She was also struck by the contemporary Irish Famine monuments which have sprung up since the Celtic Tiger economic boom in the 80’s, not only in Ireland but in the USA, Canada, England and Australia. She made this the subject of her Masters exegesis and presented a paper to the Celtic Studies Department at Newman College Melbourne University.

The figurine of the kangaroos with human features was immediately popular and sells regularly at exhibitions and through galleries. This shapeshifting figurine she believes, is a bridge between Celtic consciousness and the indigenous Australian spirit of place, and it is this that people respond to in the anthropomorphic kangaroos. She was awarded a International Golden Key Honor award from LaTrobe and funding for Visual Arts Centre exhibition.