The Margaret River Regional Open Studios event celebrates 10 years this year and is now one of the biggest in the country. Meet one of this year’s artists, ceramicist Georgia Zoric.
By Ara Jansen
When Georgia Zoric agreed to put her art on display for the first time at the Margaret River Regional Open Studios last year, she didn’t expect such a warm reception. She also didn’t expect to hear so many stories and floods of tears.
“Being part of the open studios was incredible,” enthuses Zoric. “Every day I would have someone come in and spontaneously burst into tears. My work seems to have a very ancestral feel to it and reminds people of something, even if they can’t quite put their finger on it.
“There was plenty of laughter too! Both things seemed to illicit a healing response. Hearing these stories became an unexpected privilege of being part of this event.”
Running from September 9-24, this year’s 10th anniversary event features 166 artists and 44 new studios to visit. It’s an opportunity for the public to visit artists in their studios, see their work and talk to them about it. The works are also for sale and 100% of proceeds go to the artists. This free annual showcase has become the biggest of its kind in Australia.
“I love that so many artists are generous with their time and willing to share their process with their studio visitors, especially with other artists,” Zoric says.
Last year was the first time Zoric had publicly displayed her works. She describes it as one of the most positive experiences of her life. Because she has a studio in the middle of her house, she recreated her studio at The Bond Store at ArtGeo, right down to the furniture and plants she normally surrounds herself with.
A life-long artist, Zoric came late to finding the art of her heart. She hails from a family of makers, including her mother, a well-known knitwear designer, while one of her two sisters is a fashion designer.
“I grew up in a house where making a living from art was encouraged, if not essential and completely normal. We were always making something.”
Over the years, while raising her children in the South West, she has quietly and determinedly taught herself different arts from painting to carving. It has only been in the last few years that she has settled on ceramics. You’ll find one of her first big works, The Postmaster, submerged amongst more than a dozen installations under Busselton Jetty.
Her work has an ocean or seafaring theme – characters in jumpers, which mimic the textures of the wool of her childhood and textured ceramic bottles, reminding her of the glass bottles which her family collected and were all over the house. She prefers matte to gloss and her tones are muted, almost like you might be viewing the pieces underwater. All these things make you want to reach out and touch the work, which has a heavy and reliable footprint, over being dainty.
“This event made me realise that the work I was creating for myself was also something other people liked. At 51, I’ve really found my niche as a ceramicist. I hope the event inspires everyone who visits a studio and I think it’s fair to say, be prepared for interesting conversations.”
For information about the Margaret River Regional Open Studios, go to https://mrropenstudios.com.au/ The site features the new Artist TrailMaker which will help plan your arty adventure by mapping all the artists you want to visit in Google Maps.
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