Yvonne Torrico

Richmond Library Space - 415 Church, Richmond

7 June - 8 August 2011

Yvonne Torrico is a ceramicist, a teacher of art, and a qualified art therapist. She has had numerous positions as an artist in residence in Victorian schools, and has exhibited with Ceramics Victoria and at Birds Gallery in Kew as well as with the CAS.

Her current exhibition at the Richmond Library displays her considerable talent in ceramics, with works on paper, and with painting. The former are exhibited in the glass case in the foyer of the library and the latter inside the library.

Yvonne is primarily concerned with the texture of visual form and with the process of making art objects. This is why she has described her show as “Scratching the surface – a journey into work making and surface texture.”

The artist’s purpose is not to create an ornamental work but in the human process of response to a lived experience. She is interested in the gesture and choreography of this creative process. The various works on display express this purpose.

The various pieces in the glass case are made from earthenware raku clay, slips and oxides. These pieces are totemic textured forms two to three feet in height. Three of these four objects allude to human forms with the use of circles as heads with a recessed circular epicentre. They add to the feeling of totemic force and of ancient origins. The subtle grey and light wine red colouring produced by the oxides also adds to this effect and makes each of them a compelling and evocative piece.


'Unearthed' by Yvonne Torrico, earthenware clay, slips, engobes, oxide

The artist’s statement: “ My research is in the found, uncovered from times past or present…” is an apt explanation of how these works were created.

The works on paper are two works on glascene paper comprising a surface stitched by a needle. In one of the works, silver leaf is also added. One work, Confluence, is 100 x 87 cm and another work, Mapping, is 27 x 36 cm. They also incorporate circles and swirling shapes on a greyish background. A sense of movement and energy is conveyed. The artist seeks to convey the surface as an organic space which is explored by the action of a needle. The threads which are left visible on the surface, symbolise a journey which is not completed. This process relates to maps and map making to journeys and explorations of life.

'Confluence' by Yvonne Torrico, glascene paper, graphite, stitching

The acrylic painting, Slice of Life, is a small painting with a textured surface. The black background surrounds seemingly moving circular shapes tinged in red. There is an echo of the forms made of clay in the glass case and like these forms reflects an allusion to primeval elemental forces.

All the work is highly imaginative and original. Members of CAS should make the effort to view this show.

Review by Nathan Moshinsky


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