DOMESTIC BLISS: functional works from the collection

Free exhibition

Newcastle Art Gallery has one of the nation’s leading collections of Australian Post War studio and Japanese ceramics. With a focus on functional ware, over 900 works of ceramic art form part of this important collection.

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott’s (1935 – 2013) Limoges porcelain vessels became still life assemblage, taking cues from artists such as Giorgio Morandi, Lucie Rie and the Chinese masters. In contrast, contemporary Adelaide based artist Honor Freeman creates deceptive and alluring pieces that mimic 1960s era Tupperware made not from plastic but slip-cast porcelain.
Domestic and functional wares represent many aspects of life - the flower vase for ceremony and remembrance, the platter shared in celebration and tea bowls representing tradition and custom, with influences of Chinese, Korean and Japanese makers from the past. The bond of sharing a pot of tea is a part of everyday life and the ubiquitous jar is a portrait of the central desert demonstrated through the skill of the Hermannsberg potters.
Often overlooked in terms of style and aesthetic - where ‘function wins over form’, DOMESTIC BLISS elevates everyday ceramics to works of art.

Adding glamour to the simplest of snacks  2008
slip-cast porcelain
dimensions variable
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Steven Alward & Mark Wakely 2017
Newcastle Art Gallery collection

Dawn Ngala WHEELER Lyerrtjina- budgie family 2008 terracotta with underglazes 27.0 x 17.0cm Gift of James and Judy Hart 2009 Newcastle Art Gallery collection


  • Exhibition entry FREE



Newcastle Art Gallery
1 Laman Street
Cooks Hill