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MISS MOLLY'S CERAMIC CIRCUS
Pottering around — An introduction to the ceramics of Anna Culliton


Scroll right to view Anna's work


The first solo show of Anna Culliton at NG Art Gallery harks back to the use of ceramics through history as a means of storytelling. Her whimsical style and striking use of colour seems to be a family trait - her sister being the acclaimed painter Lucy Culliton.




When asked, why tell stories of the circus? She relates that her son Ruben, was convinced he would run away and join the circus, having spent the vast majority of his life on a unicycle. Now, at 16, he has apparently lost interest in that concept but, when posters appeared around town announcing the arrival of a travelling troupe the impetus was there to see the show with her sister Lucy, her husband and three children.




‘It was a family circus from Cowra and they were just sensational... they did all sorts of daredevil things. There were goats and dogs balancing on seesaws, groovy skateboarding and then there was Molly - a girl who did everything. Molly sold us the tickets, showed us to our seats and then she was this absolutely incredible performer. There was a lot of Illusion - Molly was sawn in half and she floated in the air... all the children played instruments. It was wonderful’

A combination of this spectacle and her own imagined circus; based on her family and pets, was inspiration for her own delightful ceramic storytelling. Circus books, sketches and puppets are macquettes for her pieces in which she captures a serene innocence and the essence of an old fashioned circus experience.

A production potter by trade, she is vastly self taught. She explains that through providence and serendipity has she ended up an artist, with no extended formal training behind her.



After collecting her kids from a pottery interest group she was entranced with the studio and work of a local ceramicist who after some persuasion taught her to throw pots. Sister Lucy, gifted her a workshop at the National Art School where she met Cameron Williams, a then resident artist at the Old Lithgow Pottery. He persuaded Anna to join him at the Old Pottery and when he upped and left, she took his place, learning further technical skills from the experienced cohabitants of the studio spaces there.



Some would say that Miss Molly is Anna Culliton’s blonde alter ego, but Anna disagrees laughing, ‘there is no way I could do the tricks Molly did!’ In every sense however, Molly is the muse for this exhibition, fused with a good dose of personal narrative and quirky humour.

Like any good magic act the circus left town and has not been seen since. Unaware of the impact of their performance, Anna wonders what became of them - ‘I can’t even find them on the internet!’



For further information, please email ng@ngart.com.au


 
ANNA CULLITON
Bed of Nails

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Trio

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Daggers

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Flowers

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Flowers 3

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Flowers 4

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Cannonball

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly putting on stilts

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly balancing on chair

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Bent backs

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly and the circus pony

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly in blue dress

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly and circus boy

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly and ribbon sticks

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Circus scenes (Detail)

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Circus scenes (Detail)

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Tickets

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Tickets (Detail)

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly tumbling brown bowl

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly tumbling flat bowl

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly and dog up the ladder

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly, dog, duck and rabbit up the ladder

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly up the ladder

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly on bird bath

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Catapult

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Circus family

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Knives

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Stars

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly and magpie

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly, rabbit and duck

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly, roo and magpie

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly and duck

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly and rabbit in hat

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly eating fire

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly juggling loops

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly on rings

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly sitting on boy's feet

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly, dog and hoop

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Goat

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly and squeeze box

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly balancing on hand

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly and drum

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Pony

 


 
ANNA CULLITON
Molly and ribbon sticks