Evelyne Upton

I once considered my daydreaming as a great flaw. A child growing up in Switzerland had to have ambitions to get a good job with regular income. Art, even Pottery didn’t fit that category. So, eventually I got to be a watchmaker. However, I never stopped doing what I loved best; anything to do with art and craft.

From Lead lights to French Polishing, to Floristry. Leaving my home Country to start a new life in Australia, changed life dramatically. This new exciting, blue sky, white beach place called Queensland, has given me the freedom to be what I wanted to be for so long.

After many years working and having a family, finally the day arrived when I could devote all my time to studies. That first serious encounter with clay and printmaking at the Brisbane Institute of Art was the catalyst to all that followed.

After that initial taste for all things clay, I enrolled at TAFE around 1999, where I studied for an Advanced Diploma in Ceramics, after 4 Years of Wood firing, Raku and Glaze Science, I was hooked. Resigning from my watchmaking job, I decided to have a long holiday in Europe. On my return I missed the study atmosphere, and enrolled at Griffith University, Queensland College of Art for a BFA, Major, Drawing and Printmaking, Graduating in 2011.

I still daydream, but now I call it a much kinder word, “Contemplation”. There is beauty nearly everywhere, but often reality and truth make it hard to breath. That’s when my sculptural pieces end up with political connotations. The message might be subtle, but it is there. Clay requires tremendous technical knowledge and a clear aim, as does Printmaking. Not forgetting artistic imagination, the all-important ingredient in all I create.

I explore all glazes and firings to suit my Forms, be it functional or decorative, creating mostly one-offs. Anything from Earthenware to Stoneware. Porcelain slip casting and Paper-clay. In my studio is a Kiln, a Potters wheel, a Glaze Lab and often total mayhem. It’s an indoor-outdoor space.

Being close to Nature is an important part of my life as an artist. It is where I get inspiration. From the wonderful flowers on a native tree to the birds visiting and singing their song. When the suburban noise invades I put on my headphones and listen to whatever I need for peace of mind. I have two constant companions near as well; my dogs. They are great company and have inspired me to make pet bowls which will be sold at the local farmers market shortly. Sadly, there are only so many hours in a day and many of my ideas are only in my Drawing pad for now.

Exhibiting in galleries is a big part of my practice. Selling in a local Wynnum shop has been a good experience, however rents are high and competing with Chinese imports is one of the drawbacks in our line of work. However, tourists have purchased items with screen-printed, Australian marsupials. At times inspiration happens in a fruit shop, sighting a beautiful, tactile Melon.

“A Sentence of Teapots” 2014 Photo: Richard Stringer