clay matters

Facts of Matter

Curated by Cinda Manins
22 February > 24 March 2024

Curated by Cinda Manins, Facts of Matter is a group exhibition co-presented by Linden Projects Space and Climarte. Our exhibition explores issues which reflect the diversity of individual interests in Clay Matters, a group of artists that came together online for the first time in 2020 during the lockdowns whose goal is to explore shared concerns over the impact of the artistic ceramics industry on climate change. On our minds were the issues of firing electric kilns (carbon), the source of materials (the extraction of clay and minerals) and the ongoing impact of rampant consumerism.

The word ‘matter’, both in our collective name and the exhibition title, has several meanings that we draw upon; matter as material substance that constitutes the observable universe (and thus our ceramic materials); matter as the events or circumstances of a particular situation, and; matter as issues of priority. Each artist responds to selected references in relation to their own environmental concerns, offering solutions, advocating for action, and promoting hope. Our message is that every action matters!

The exhibition raises a range of climate- and environmental-related topics for audiences to contemplate. Lene Kuhl Jakobsen considers the issue of food security, genetic modification, and natural adaptation in food agriculture through the lens of childhood memories and a series of text titles. Jane Sawyer’s universal bucket forms are offered as a response to a piece of writing by Carolyn Leach-Paholski (2016), in which she contemplates the value of water as it fluctuates from abundance of a flood to the scarcity of drought.

Claire Ellis’ extensive research into materials and her aim to encourage political change results in her work highlighting successful climate protests in which local rock byproducts are used to fuse a form inspired by the Franklin River where dam protests in 1982 led to the formation of The Greens. Vicki Grima works small, understanding the subsequent smaller environmental impact from this decision, being inspired by articles such as ‘How Size in Art Matters’ and ‘How Scale in Art Influences the Viewing Experience’. Her series of small bottles and brooches create an intimacy between the object and the observer. Pattie Beerens examines human kinship with materials and the ephemerality of such relationships in her woven sculptures made with plant fibre and unfired clay. Each of the 10 artists offers a unique perspective on contemporary environmental issues represented through our much-adored medium of clay.

Featured artists: Pattie Beerens, Amelia Black, Amanda Bromfield, Claire Ellis, Vicki Grima, Lene Kuhl Jakobsen, Cinda Manins, Elnaz Nourizadeh, Jane Sawyer, Madeleine Thornton Smith.

IMAGE > [Top] Lene Kuhl Jakobsen, Memento (un)known (detail), 2023. Image courtesy of the artist.

Pattie Beerens

Lene Kuhl Jakobsen


Jane Sawyer


Elnaz Nourizadeh

Amanda Bromfield

Amelia Black 

Cinda Manins

Claire Ellis

Thornton Smith

Facts of Matter is presented in partnership with CLIMARTE as part of the 2024 National Sustainable Living Festival program

Clay Matters is a group of ceramicist activists whose mission is to encourage clay works to lead and inspire climate action, embed environmentally friendly and sustainable practices in the studio, and strengthen individual and social commitments to carbon reduction.

Facts of Matter
is proudly supported by City of Port Phillip Cultural Development Fund.

Linden Projects Space is generously supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, City of Port Phillip and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.