Expanding the Ceramic Field 

Craft Victoria, Victorian Craft Awards, Melbourne Madeleine Thornton-Smith


This installation explores the tension between functional and the non-functional, image and object, ceramics and sculpture. Some objects may refer to traditional ceramic forms such as the vase or the cup, but with their “function” taken out of them, Thornton-Smith is interested in stacking and layering her ceramic objects, creating playful “thrones”, “stands” and “pedestals” for her vessels, playing homage to the histories of sculpture and ceramics. She then layers these objects onto images that mimic the forms on top of them.


Rosalind Krauss’ seminal work Sculpture in the Expanded Field (1979) provided inspiration on how the breakdown of medium specificity in the visual arts created new opportunities for artists, particularly those with an interdisciplinary practice. Due to her training in various mediums, Thornton-Smith has gravitated towards the idea of collage – both literally and metaphorically; the collaging together of different mediums and forms of artistic practice.

Images by Madeleine Thornton-Smith 

© 2020 Madeleine Thornton-Smith 

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