Matthew Blakely is a distinguished and internationally known potter. He was born in the United Kingdom and emigrated to Australia in 1988 where he studied at the National Art School in Sydney, winning the State Medal in 1993.
Of all the arts, ceramics is the most fundamentally linked to the physical make up of the planet that we inhabit and best illustrates the link between science and art. It can be seen as an artistic expression of the geology of earth. Pots represent our relationship with and dependency on the planet, making things for human use from the dug earth beneath our feet. This work represents the personal development of an understanding and a bond with the landscapes of Britain, illustrating the ceramic qualities of the rocks and deposits around the country. My aim is to create another way of looking at the land on which we live by making ceramic pieces that are entirely created from rocks and minerals that I have collected from individual locations. Each piece will therefore be an illustration of the ceramic and geological character of that place. The ethos behind this is tied to the concept of provenance and making something where not only do I know where everything in it comes from but I have been there, collected it and prepared it myself. Time becomes an overwhelming element in the working process. There are no shortcuts: every material must be collected, crushed and ground to dust before it can be used. It is a labour of love. The materials I am using are unrefined, impure and therefore full of unpredictability, and therefore possibility. Thanks to these variations and impurities I have been able to achieve qualities that would be impossible to get in any other way. That is what makes this work unique.