Catherine Lane is an established visual artist who lives and works on the stunning north coast of NSW. Catherine has an extensive background in clay and at the outset of her career, following her studies at Charles Sturt University, she trained in the mingei style of folk pottery in a private studio near Mashiko in Japan. It was here she began to learn about the eastern philosophy of wabi sabi which embraces the notion of beauty in disintegration and imperfection and this remains an influence on her work to the present time.
Following extensive travel, overseas teaching and the establishment of a successful ceramics studio in Northern NSW, Catherine’s exhibition work began a gradual shift away from the singular object to incorporate a variety of artmaking materials including adobe, papier mache, steel, bone, natural dyes and artificial grass in installation format. This coincided with the completion of her Masters degree at Southern Cross University in 2000.
In 2011, Catherine undertook a residency at GAYA ceramics in Ubud, Bali. Here she developed a new body of work culminating in the solo exhibition Hortus Conclusus (Walled Garden). This show embraced a diverse set of technical skills incorporating anagama fired works, figurative porcelain pieces, alchemical distillations of flowers, traditional Chinese glazes, and the development of a new clay body specific to firing thick at stoneware temperatures. A resonant installation incorporated slivers of porcelain with affirmations carved into them, wrapped in traditional banana leaves like the nasi bunkos (Balinese lunch boxes) ….each exhibition visitor was invited to choose one to take with them as a gift. There’s something grounding and peaceful about giving with no expectation of receiving. In 2012, Catherine won the prestigious Townsville Ceramic Art Award for $10,000 , (judged by the late Janet Mansfield) with one of the anagama fired figurative works made on this residency.
Further to this, in 2018, Catherine was invited back to GAYA to take up the position of Interim Director. The demanding role involved teaching, in addition to facilitating GAYA’s international artist in residence program and the international artist intensives. ‘The Empathist’ solo exhibition marked the culmination of this time.
Since 2012, Catherine has also been one half of The Bund Project with Linelle Stepto . Together, they create site specific installations and artworks focusing on the human connection with nature and our current alienation from it. In addition to a successful residency at historic Hill End in 2013, their works have been exhibited in the Lorne Sculpture Festival, the Woodford Folk Festival, Scenic World Sculpture Exhibition in the Katoomba and their most recent collaboration, ‘The Cartographer, 2019’ was a finalist in Still:The national Still Life Exhibition at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery.
On-going cross-disciplinary work with activist and performer Moira Finucane of Finucane and Smith (Melbourne) also sees Catherine’s work travel all over the world.
Throughout, Catherine maintains an authenticity to both her life and work philosophy and the materials she works with.