Prue Venables

Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft

The exhibition Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft | Prue Venables presents an outstanding body of work by one of Australia’s greatest artists working in clay.

Acclaimed ceramicist Prue Venables is the ninth artist in the Australian Design Centre series Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft, which celebrates the achievements of Australia’s most iconic craft practitioners. A series of solo exhibitions honour eminent and highly respected craftspeople, celebrating their mastery of skill, their achievements, their contribution to Australian craft, and the unique place they occupy in the national design culture.

Prue Venables shows a true mastery of materials. She demonstrates a profound understanding of porcelain, that most precious and temperamental of clays, whose fine-grain and opaque qualities are expressed in rigorous works of refined detail. These handmade functional artworks possess clarity, luminosity and a quiet beauty.

The forms are simple and elegant, with a minimal colour palette and subtle exaggerations – an oval lip or an elongated handle – that create a distinctive visual language. The works in this exhibition explore the significance of everyday objects through multiple sequences of forms in porcelain, with additional elements in metal and wood.

The project includes a touring exhibition, book and film, as well as public programs, digital content and an education kit.

Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft | Prue Venables was researched and developed under a Federal Government Visions of Australia research grant and is ADC’s major national touring exhibition for 2019 - 2022. The tour is also supported by the Visions of Australia program and Australia Council for the Arts.

The book provides an in-depth insight into Prue’s life and work, and includes essays by UK-based potter and writer Alison Britton and Australian ceramicist Neville French. The book is supported by Gordon Darling Foundation. 

Download the education kit here: coming soon


Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft | Prue Venables : Opening night 
To be opened by Adrian Collette, CEO of Australia Council for the Arts.
When: Thursday 1 August 2019, 6 -8pm
Where: Australian Design Centre
Spaces are limited, RSVP required. Book here

Prue Venables: Floor Talk
Meet Prue Venables in this unique opportunity to hear her discussing her work in the exhibition. 
When: Friday 2 August 2019, 2 -3.30pm 
Where: Australian Design Centre
Free event, bookings required. Book here

About Prue Venables

Australian-born artist Prue Venables was studying the flute in London in 1977 when she first touched clay and was profoundly stopped in her tracks. Since then, she has devoted her time and energy to the mastery of porcelain, becoming one of Australia’s most skilled and lauded potters.

Numerous national and international exhibitions, awards and publications celebrate the fine porcelain work of Prue Venables.

Included in many public and private collections worldwide, these pots explore complex and unusual approaches to working with porcelain, challenge the significance of daily objects and highlight the richness that they bring to our lives.

Forms are deceptively simple, stand quietly, with light dancing on the sprung tension of their rims, their softly melting forms inviting touch.

Prue Venables is a multi-award winning, major Australian ceramicist. Educated at the Harrow College of Art in London with a Masters of Fine Art – Ceramics from RMIT, Prue has been practising her craft since 1977.

With a distinguished exhibition history, Prue has also mentored and taught generations of ceramicists. Prue’s work is collected by major institutions and public galleries and private institutions in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, UK, USA, Canada, Japan.

She is a former President of Craft Victoria, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London. 

Exhibition tour venues and dates

Australian Design Centre, NSW 1 August - 25 September 2019 
Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, VIC 18 October - 1 December 2019 
Hamilton Gallery, VIC 16 December 2019 - 9 February 2020 
Redland Art Gallery, QLD 15 March - 26 April 2020 
Cairns Art Gallery, QLD 8 May - 21 June 2020 
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, NSW 3 July - 23 August 2020 
Bendigo Art Gallery, VIC 31 October 2020 - 7 February 2021

Design Tasmania, TAS 26 February - 25 April 2021 
JamFactory, SA 7 May - 11 June 2021 
Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, WA 3 September - 14 November 2021 
Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, NSW 2 December 2021 - 13 February 2022 
Noosa Regional Gallery, QLD 4 March - 1 May 2022
Newcastle Art Gallery, NSW  28 May - 7 August 2022
Cowra Regional Art Gallery, NSW 20 August - 2 October 2022

Exhibition Supporters and Partners: 

Images: Above: Prue Venables, Black triangulated form and Black pedestal bowl, 2019. Middle: Prue Venables, Castlemaine Studio, 2019. Below: Prue Venables, Betty's Kitchen, 2017. Photos: Terence Bogue.