Jessie Yvette Journoud-Ryan - 'Tea & Kintsugi'
Wednesday 21 November - Sunday 16 December 2018
"My practice draws from past connections and experimentation with fine crockery and sculpture.
When I contemplate birds in flight, I reflect on the migratory process, a long and epic journey and the trials along the way. The lessons we learn, new shores, new experiences… As a dual citizen of France and Australia, having my feet on both shores, birds reflect my personal narratives of migration, belonging and displacement. It begins with the exhibition theme What Lies Beneath for the annual Dandenong Ranges Open Studios event earlier this year.
Blue… is what lies beneath for me: my daily struggle with depression and anxiety. Ironically, after enduring a decade-long fear of travelling – I finally met the challenge in recent times and I returned to my family and the home in Dijon (France), where I spent a good part of my childhood. On my travels, I came across a mosaic of a Phoenix and I reflected on my odyssey… Rising from the ashes is an apt description for what it feels like to occasionally win the mental health battle. And so The Phoenix was born… winning the 2018 People’s Choice Award at the Open Studios.
Shortly after, I returned to France sooner than expected for a family funeral. This impromptu homecoming further revealed to me to what extent my heritage, my surroundings in Burgundy had shaped my visual language over the years. For example the mesmerising repetitive traditional patterns - including the fish scale pattern - of the glazed roof tiles of Burgundy… or handling my late grandmother’s fine china and finding the crockery I had hand-painted in my teens whilst attending a national ceramic school in the Burgundy countryside.
The Phoenix was in fact the early beginnings of what would eventually become a larger series of work - Tea & Kintsugi – mulling over ‘light matters’ such as mental health, loss, resilience, homecomings and healing. Kintsugi refers to the traditional Japanese process of repairing broken ceramics with gold and in doing so, acknowledging the piece’s history, its life: breakages and all. Creating something new out of what is broken."