Sassy Park is a ceramics artist with a focus on memorialising the intimacies of the ordinary every day. Park’s practice led her to become a supporter and friend of Arts Project Australia after first encountering Arts Project through travelling exhibition Home Sweet Home in 2007. She has since curated Arts Project artists into exhibitions, including recently featuring Kaye McDonald and Kate Knight in The Vase and Flower Show.
Her love for Arts Project extends from the professional to personal with her home proudly displaying collected pieces by Ruth Howard, Amani Tia, Alan Constable, Chris Mason and Lisa Reid, among others. In 2018, Sassy Park interviewed for Collector’s Corner, expressing her close relationship with these works. Recently, Arts Project followed up with Sassy Park to see how this relationship with her art collection has evolved since spending more time at home in 2020.
Spending time at home has further convinced me of the need to be surrounded by the things we love and value most. Not just family and pets but the objects we live with, a theme recently investigated in Arts Projects recent online exhibition, The Object and the Beholden.
As with family and friends, objects are in a relationship with each other, especially objects of art. In this time of lockdown, I have expanded my relationship to things that instil meaning and comfort in my life to the plants, trees and flowers in my small inner-city garden.
Checking orchids for new leaves or the beginning of a flower spike gives me irrational joy. The plants in my garden hold the memory of people. I have a coffee tree given to me by Melbourne artist, James Morrison, and the violets, flowering now, remind me of the time of year when a friend’s father passed away.
The camellia at the front which I use to guide visitors to our house (it’s the house with the yellow door and the camellia tree) was taken as a seedling from my grandmother’s garden nearly 30 years ago. The slipper orchid was my grandfathers.
Bringing the flowers inside to place on shelves and sideboards has a ritualistic feel. Arranging them with ceramics and paintings creates a tableau in front of which we can perform small joys and take solace. I especially like to place flowers with ceramic artworks, such as Ruth Howard’s Not titled (large white pile).
Tabletop scenes encompassing artworks, teapots, eggcups, vases, lamps, and figurines act out a still play against the backdrop of paintings (Amani Tia, The Clash, 2018). The ephemeral nature has the potential for change and renewal. Through artworks and flowers from the garden, the exterior world is brought inside, changing both our physical and mental interiors.
Are you at home with Arts Project Australia? Win a $200 voucher or a chance to be featured on @artsprojectaust. Post a photo on Instagram of an artwork by an Arts Project Australia artist in your home and tag @artsprojectaust. Competition closes Friday 9 October 2020. Winners announced Monday 12 October.
Images selected to be featured on Instagram determined at the discretion of APA gallery staff. Winning voucher entrant is chosen at random and contacted via DM. Voucher can be redeemed via online stockroom and is valid for three years.
Love from the Studio is a series of interviews and articles bringing you behind the scenes of Arts Project Australia. Sassy Park was interviewed by Arts Project Australia communications and gallery administrator Tahney Fosdike.