For many artists, experimentation with processes or materials is essential to their creative practice. For a few however, experimentation is not just a means to an end but is the conceptual basis of their art works.
As a glaze artist/developer/junkie with an overwhelming passion for glaze research, Karuna’s work gives her the means to share that passion. Her research has resulted in incredibly beautiful yet diverse ranges of glazes/surfaces for her work, which is recognisable for its simple architectural forms.
“I love the infinite possibilities within the surfaces of ceramics – that layer just below and just above the clay. How we interact with that layer, what we see, how it makes us feel, that’s what fascinates me.”
The graphic intensity of Karuna’s work is strongly influenced by her multi-cultural upbringing. In her vibrant tilework, traditional Indian influences such as imagery, textures and colours are clearly identifiable, all elements that strongly reference her ancestral homeland; while her stunning pounamu-inspired macrocrystalline glazes evoke a unique sense of this place, with strong and unmistakable references to Aotearoa’s dynamic landscape.
“I’m incredibly lucky to both live and work in the bush but so close to the ocean. I’m surrounded by visual stimulation. Vibrant green bush, frothing waves, endless black sands, expansive blue/green/grey ocean, towering black lava formations, and of course the amazing pink/orange/gold sunsets. It can’t help but inform my work.”
In 2012, these award-winning crystalline glazes were used on chalice and paten Colleen Urlich, and Karuna and Todd created collaboratively to mark Rex Nathan’s induction as the first Maori National President of the Methodist Church.
“Colleen understood my passion for glazes, not only the technical stuff but the importance of the glaze’s whakapapa. She convinced me that other people would be interested too, and challenged me to put myself out there, and present and publish my research. I will miss her forever.”
In April 2013, Karuna published in the international ceramics magazine, The Journal of Australian Ceramics, outlining the kaupapa behind her development of her acclaimed pounamu glazes.
In November 2015, Karuna published the kaupapa and research that led to her stunning work, The Cosmic Dance (finalist 2015 Portage Ceramics Awards), in the Journal of Australian Ceramics.
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