Tracy Keith
Whenua: the conscious land
19 February - 21 March 2020
2020-02-19 - 2020-03-21
Described by Pataka curator Mark Hutchins Pond as "a rising star of the ceramics world", Keith, who has a Master of Fine Arts from the Whitecliff College of Art and Design, has had several public gallery exhibitions. He was included in the touring exhibition Whenua Hou: New Maori Ceramics in 2018 and in early 2019, he had a solo exhibition at Pataka Art Museum. Currently he is showing in Dirty Ceramics at the Dowse until mid-March and he is included in an exhibition of Maori carvers and artists at Tauranga Art Gallery from 22 February until late August.

In Whenua: The conscious land, Keith employs uku, clay, to call attention to the human impact on the earth. He envisages whenua as a land of consciousness, a primeval place where humans live in "the close and perpetual embrace of Papatūānuku (mother-earth)". His distinctive sculpted and richly textured vessels seek to evoke memories of that place and awareness of how far we have travelled from it.

Keith (Ngā Puhi) grew up in Tokoroa and says the heritage of the forestry mill which touched the lives of the everyone in the town can be seen in the industrial, scorched, gritty, almost dystopian feel of his works. These hand-sculpted vessels - with their strange fins, protrusions, subtle indentations referencing kowhaiwhai, surprising glazes and patina - are containers for ideas and memories. Their conceptual underpinnings go against the more conventional utilitarian nature of pottery, despite Keith's hand-crafting of the clay and his use of the 500 year old Japanese Raku firing process, traditionally employed to create delicate bowls for tea ceremonies.

Seeming to embody ancient alchemies and knowledge surviving from the past into the present, Keith's distinctive sculptural ceramics integrate the intrusive impact of human activity with weathered and layered structures of the land to seduce and to seek deeper consideration of that interaction.


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Installation view 1
Installation view 1
Crucible 3
2015
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
195 x 245 mm

SOLD
Crucible 3
2015
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
195 x 245 mm

SOLD
Ahi kōmau (smouldering Fire)
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics cold glaze
135 x 260 mm

SOLD
Ahi kōmau (smouldering Fire)
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics cold glaze
135 x 260 mm

SOLD
Earth crucible 3
2015
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
240 x 480 mm

SOLD
Earth crucible 3
2015
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
240 x 480 mm

SOLD
Cluster formation
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
200 x 300 mm
Cluster formation
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
200 x 300 mm
Ahi kā
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
220 x 400 mm

SOLD
Ahi kā
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
220 x 400 mm

SOLD
Growth on the skin
2015
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
220 x 410 mm

SOLD
Growth on the skin
2015
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
220 x 410 mm

SOLD
Convergent
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
200 x 300 mm

SOLD
Convergent
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
200 x 300 mm

SOLD
Earth chalice 1
2015
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
130 x 200 mm

SOLD
Earth chalice 1
2015
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
130 x 200 mm

SOLD
Slate vessel
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
135 x 260 mm

SOLD
Slate vessel
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
135 x 260 mm

SOLD
Earth crucible 2
2015
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
200 x 300 mm

SOLD
Earth crucible 2
2015
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
200 x 300 mm

SOLD
Aumoana (oceanic) vessel
2016
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
210 x 200 mm

SOLD
Aumoana (oceanic) vessel
2016
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
210 x 200 mm

SOLD
Conscious land
2012
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
250 x 420 mm

SOLD
Conscious land
2012
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
250 x 420 mm

SOLD
Awa vessel
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
240 x 350 mm

SOLD
Awa vessel
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
240 x 350 mm

SOLD
Installation view 3
Installation view 3
Rūaumoko
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
215 x 290 mm

SOLD
Rūaumoko
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
215 x 290 mm

SOLD
Desolate
2015
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
220 x 410 mm

SOLD
Desolate
2015
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
220 x 410 mm

SOLD
Ore crucible
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
220 x 340 mm

SOLD
Ore crucible
2020
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
220 x 340 mm

SOLD
Tube
2019
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
270 x 330 mm

SOLD
Tube
2019
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
270 x 330 mm

SOLD
Earth artery
2019
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
320 x 400 mm

SOLD
Earth artery
2019
Tracy Keith
Raku fired ceramics
320 x 400 mm

SOLD