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Prue Venables, Black triangulated form and Black pedestal bowl, 2018. Image: Terence Bogue 

Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft 
\ Prue Venables 

14 August to 11 October 2020

Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft \ Prue Venables presents an outstanding body of work by one of Australia’s greatest artists working in clay.

Acclaimed ceramicist Prue Venables is the ninth artist in the Australian Design Centre series Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft, which celebrates the achievements of Australia’s most iconic crafts practitioners.

A series of solo exhibitions, Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft honours eminent and highly respected craftspeople, celebrating their mastery of skill, their achievements, their contribution to Australian craft, and the unique place they occupy in the national design culture.

The works of Prue Venables show a true mastery of materials. They demonstrate a profound understanding of porcelain, that most precious and temperamental of clays, whose fine-grain and opaque qualities are expressed in rigorous works of refined detail. These are handmade functional artworks that possess clarity, luminosity and a quiet beauty.

Many of the works also feature wood and metal elements formed as handles, joints and other connecting pieces. Prue Venables’s forms are simple and elegant, with a minimal colour palette and subtle exaggerations – an oval lip or an elongated handle – that create a distinctive visual language.

“Prue Venables’ ceramic works are at once familiar, echoing domestic forms, exquisitely beautiful in their etched shapes, delicate textures and luminosity, and supremely graceful,” said Lisa Cahill, CEO and Artistic Director of Australian Design Centre. “It is a pleasure and a privilege to honour Prue Venables as the ninth artist to be recognised in the series,” said Cahill. 

Prue Venables’ major body of work for this exhibition explores the significance of everyday objects through multiple sequences of forms in porcelain, with additional elements in metal and wood.

The Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft \ Prue Venables project includes a touring exhibition, book and film, as well as public programs, digital content and an education kit.

Exhibition Details:

To be opened by Lisa Cahill, CEO and Artistic Director, Australian Design Centre
When: 6pm, Thursday 13 August 2020
Where: Canberra Potters, 1 Aspinall St Watson, ACT
Opening event: $10. Ticket includes entry to the exhibition and floor talk, a drink and canapes upon arrival and entry into our lucky door prize. Tickets can be bought here

Media are welcome to attend: for a media pass, please RSVP here. Numbers strictly limited.

Exhibition dates: 14 August to 11 October 2020 
Gallery hours: 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Sunday 
Admission: Adult $6.00 | Concession/CPS member $4.00


Prue Venables, Betty's Kitchen, 2017. Image: Terence Bogue 

About Prue Venables
Australian-born artist Prue Venables was studying the flute in London in 1977 when she first touched clay and was profoundly stopped in her tracks. Since then, she has devoted her time and energy to the mastery of porcelain, becoming one of Australia’s most skilled and lauded potters.

Numerous national and international exhibitions, awards and publications celebrate the fine porcelain work of Prue Venables.

Included in many public and private collections worldwide, these pots explore complex and unusual approaches to working with porcelain, challenge the significance of daily objects and highlight the richness that they bring to our lives.

Forms are deceptively simple, stand quietly, with light dancing on the sprung tension of their rims, their softly melting forms inviting touch.

Prue Venables is a multi-award winning, major Australian ceramicist. Educated at the Harrow College of Art in London with a Masters of Fine Art – Ceramics from RMIT, Prue has been practising her craft since 1977.
With a distinguished exhibition history, Prue has also mentored and taught generations of ceramicists. Prue’s work is collected by major institutions and public galleries and private institutions in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, UK, USA, Canada, Japan.

She is a former President of Craft Victoria, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London. 

About Canberra Potters
Canberra Potters Society (CPS) is a not-for-profit community organisation established in Canberra in 1975. Our objectives are to promote excellence and innovation in ceramics, foster appreciation of handcrafted ceramics in the broader community and encourage the professional development of our students and members. The Society is an ACT Government Key Arts Organisation. As such we receive some funding from the ACT Government and manage Watson Arts Centre, an ACT Government arts facility, located in Aspinall Street, Watson, only 5kms from the Canberra CBD.

About Australian Design Centre
Australian Design Centre (ADC) is an independent contemporary craft and design organisation igniting creative ideas and building cultural vibrancy. Through their exhibition, festival, touring, retail, publishing and learning platforms, they take a lead role developing and supporting Australia’s makers and designers and building audiences for their work across Australia and internationally.

ADC on Tour
Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft \ Prue Venables was researched and developed under a Visions of Australia research grant and is ADC’s major national touring exhibition for 2019 – 2022 with the tour also supported by the Federal Government’s Visions of Australia program.

Media Contact: 
Canberra Potters: Katrina Leske, phone +61 2 6241 1670 Email: 
Australian Design Centre: Alix Fiveash, phone: +61 2 9361 4555  Email:

Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft \ Prue Venables is an Australian Design Centre (ADC On Tour) national touring exhibition, presented with assistance from the Australian Government Visions of Australia program. The Visions of Australia regional exhibition touring program supports audience access to Australian arts and cultural material, with a particular focus on tours to regional and remote Australia.

Australian Design Centre is supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. Australian Design Centre is assisted by the New South Wales Government through Create NSW, and the Australian government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. 

Copyright © 2020 Canberra Potters' Society Inc., Watson Arts Centre. All rights reserved.

Canberra Potters, Watson Arts Centre
1 Aspinall St, Watson, ACT

We are currently open Tuesday to Saturday. For our latest updates regarding Covid-19 opening hours please click here
Mail: PO Box 7021, Watson, ACT 2602
Office: (02) 6241 1670,
Supported by the ACT Government. Watson Arts Centre is an ACT 
Government facility managed by Canberra Potters' Society Inc. 

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