installation view: Tarnanthi 2021 featuring works by Christina Gollan, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

Kaurna, Boandik and Ngarrindjeri artist Christina Gollan is inspired by the plants in her suburban Adelaide backyard and the birds that they attract. Her vibrantly coloured forms are made using a range of hand-building techniques whereby the ceramic surface becomes a clay canvas for a vivid encounter with nature. As Gollan says,

"Making something out of a block of clay into something amazing is the most wonderful feeling ever. Even the smallest seed pods or animals can show you life is so precious and beautiful, big or small. I love making things people might not notice."

'The children at Stirling District Kindergarten looked at the ceramic vessels created by Kaurna, Boandik and Ngarrindjeri artist Christina Gollan of native Australian birds that she observes in her suburban backyard in Adelaide. They identified features of the birds and how they had been constructed with clay. The children then thought about a bird they could portray for their work of art. This could be a bird they had seen in their backyard or their favourite bird. Following this, students explored the properties of clay and experimented with a variety of found objects including many types of seed pods, leaves, sticks, feathers and discarded blocks. They pressed and drew in to the clay to create different imprints and textures for their bird. Some of the pieces created included a rainbow lorikeet, a bluebird, a pink turkey and even a magic bird'.
- Jess Hancock (parent) and Sue Caldicott (Kindergarten Director)

Tarnanthi Twitcher

Become a Twitcher as you explore Tarnanthi online. Draw all the birds you notice on your virtual journey. How many different birds do you recognise? Can you identify any of the birds by name? Which of these birds are in your school or home environment?