Creatively Speaking – Janetta Kerr-Grant
Janetta Kerr-Grant is a Melbourne based ceramics artist. Originally training as a painter, before going into journalism, Janetta found that she missed the world of art and headed back to the studio where she focuses on ceramics. Janetta’s work has been the recipient of a number of awards and also featured in a number of publications, most recently Adam Liaw, winner of Australian cooking show Masterchef’s, cook book.
In between a busy few months, and what sounds to be an exciting 2013, Janetta has kindly taken some time out to be interviewed. So sit back grab a cup of tea and enjoy.
Janetta in her Studio
How would you describe your work and style? My ceramic practice has a dual focus – I make work that I show in galleries that tends to be the exploration of a particular idea or concept that I investigate in a range of ways. Currently I am interested in how a ‘sense of place’, specifically the intersection of rural and urban landscapes, can be conveyed in ceramics.
I also make work specifically for retail. For the past several years I have been consistently drawing on the domestic appeal of gingham and tartan fabrics. For me, there is something inherently cheerful and welcoming that is somehow embedded in the patterning. I paint, carve, and inlay patterns and textures. I usually work in series across a range of large platters, plates, bowls and dishes.
Where did your love of ceramics come from and what makes your style unique to you. When I was young my family used to stay at a cousin’s holiday house that had all this beautiful hand painted crockery, which I later found out was Titian ware. There were cream coloured cups, plates, bowls and tureens all covered in wonderful painted patterns of apricots, cherries and blueberries. I thought they were really beautiful. There were also blue and whlte Cornishware jugs which I also thought were great. Using this crockery made every meal feel special.
Blue and White Cornishware Jug – Inspiration
Which is your favorite personal project and why? Usually the one that I am currently working on. What has been the most exciting point in your career to date and why? In December I was really thrilled to find out I was the recipient of an Australia Council Grant. The grant will go towards getting my own kjln and properly equipping my tiny home studio. In the same month I also found out I was one of four ceramicists to be selected for ‘ Vitrify’, which is a $10,000 annual prize for ceramic art. It felt a great way to start 2013! Do you have any major projects in the pipeline at the moment? Can you share these with us? Yes, as I mentioned, the Vitrify award. I will be developing a range of ideas exploring themes of light, space and landscape. The four ceramicists will all show their work at the Bett Gallery in Hobart in August.
Now as much as I love your work, I love cooking and am always eager to find out a new recipe… what is your favorite dish to cook?
This dish is one I make when I want something really easy and tasty. It’s the sort of meal you can make without thinking and you can easily stretch the quanities depending on how many people you are feeding.
Eggplant, tomato and boccinni pasta
Minus the Eggplant !
Tub of bocconcini
Good quality olive oil
Good quality pasta
Salt flakes , fresh cracked black pepper
Slice up 1 or 2 eggplants and put in a baking tray
Top with two punnets of cherry tomates and a handful of fresh basil leaves
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt flakes and pepper.
Put the tray in a moderate oven for 40 mins, or until everything is nicely roasted.
While that’s cooking I usually throw together a green salad of rocket, avocado and cucumber and boil up some pasta
When the eggplant bake is done toss it over the al dente pasta. Add a tub of drained bocconini – these should start to melt a bit due to the heat of the pasta.
Ladle out into bowls drizzle with more olive oil if you think it needs it
Top with more chopped basil leaves and serve with the salad and a glass of red.
I hope that you enjoyed… meanwhile on with the colourful adventure….