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Ceramic Allure

As a youngster Wānaka artist Shannon Courteney was fascinated with the art of making things and began her artistic journey while working in a café linked to a pottery factory in the North Island’s Matakana.

“I always wanted to do something creative. After a few years of dabbling in different mediums in my spare time I felt compelled to learn more about what it is to create and made the decision to study for my Bachelor of Fine Arts at Auckland University’s Elam,” she says.

“During that time, my great mentor was renowned ceramist Anthony Morris who I worked with in his studio at Matakana while studying. He was very generous with his knowledge and was a wonderful friend and teacher during this time.”

Shannon works mainly in ceramics using mould making, slip casting and hand building methods from her studio in the Cardrona Valley.

“River ecology, with a strong focus on the Cardrona River, geology and human impact are the themes of my work. Also realism – I aim to make people question what they are seeing and hopefully encourage them to look closer and delve deeper into the work.”

 “My studio is at Kind Farm Animal Sanctuary where my mother has been transforming part of a station into a place for large animals in need such as horses, cows and sheep. I had the opportunity to set up my own place here and work on my passion alongside hers.”

“The Cardrona River runs through the property and even when studying in Auckland I would visit this river and pack my suitcase with rocks – often resulting in a sticker saying that my bag had been searched. I did bring all the rocks back to the river when I moved down here.”

Alongside her artwork, Shannon has established a line of functional ceramics, creating and selling dinnerware and earrings.

“This first started with the Thrifted Collection that’s made from pieces found in second-hand stores and re-created in the form of ceramics. There is something very satisfying behind making an object with function in mind.”

Shannon Courtenay captured at Apanui Studio on 01 Mar, 2022 by Luisa Apanui Photography.

Shannon’s artworks are currently exhibited at Stoned – a group exhibition at Broker in Frankton with fellow artists Emma Theyers, Marc Blake, Shane Woolridge and Tracy Porteous.

For sculpture and art practice @shannoncourtenayartist / For tableware and functional ceramics @shannoncourtenayceramics / Online store/ more information on exhibitions and projects