Colette Beardall – Clay Sculptor
“As a clay artist it is my habit to spend many hours alone in my studio but always with my 5 various animal companions to keep me company. Often in the warmer months I bring my wheel up to the back deck to engage my senses with the natural surroundings I am lucky to live in. I have a small property in Metcalfe which is full of flora and fauna and home to my two horses, two cats and Russian rescue dog. Animals are the primary subject of my sculpture work and through sales of my pieces I am able to send a portion to an animal rescue which is represented in the piece I’ve made. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to use my meager ability in this manner.
A few months ago, my emotions were totally engaged with the devastation of the wildfires in Australia and the mass of destruction of habitat and the death of so many animals. I had to find a way to keep myself busy and stop my anxiety from getting the best of me. Planning and executing a fundraiser that would provide relief for both WIRES an animal relief organization and the St. Vincent de Paul Society of NSW was the tonic I needed. Being a potter as well, I made and sold one hundred wheel thrown bowls for a minimum donation of $25 but so many dug deep and sent more. I was so happy to raise a total of $4500 for the charities.
Of course, now we find ourselves here. A global pandemic. I am to have a solo exhibition in 2021 at the Shenkman Arts Centre. My main subject before this pandemic struck was to highlight animal abuses and trafficking in places around the world. A highlight would be the pangolin who has been implicated in being a source for the virus. Am I clairvoyant? No. Just a concerned and devasted global citizen that watched as shipment after shipment of this animal’s body parts brought it from a healthy population to endangered status within a couple of years. Part of our jobs as artists is to engage with people but also to inform. I hope I can continue doing that in the depths of my basement with a sense of hope for a better world in the future. And leave the depths of despair behind us.”