Ceramic artist Shannon Garson began documenting the magnolia garden of children’s author Gary Crew in 2007. In 2008 this project has come to fruition in an exhibition of exquisite bowls and vases called “ The Magnolia Project.” Shannon’s designs follow the ancient magnolia tree through the seasons expressing the power and fragility of the blossoms in porcelain. Shannon begins her exploration with “Spring” sepia drawings of knobbly twisting branches contrast against the soft, glossy interiors, shell pink, blushing to coral red.
“Winter Celadon Family” captures twisting branches and delicate blossoms under an icy blue crackled glaze. The vessels are presented in groups or pairs and this organic approach to throwing was developed by Shannon to echo the random shapes found in the magnolia tree.
“The process of documenting a garden progress through the seasons is profoundly moving” says Shannon. “It is knowing that the small shrubs will one day grow to be tall trees and express the powerful cycles of life and death that move throughout the world.”
The Magnolia Project was developed with the assistance of an Australia Council New Works grant and is on display at the Maleny Artworks Gallery from August 30.