Cousin of Elizabeth. N.T.

Dianne Coulter

COULTER, DI - Cousin Elizabeth NT
Cousin of Elizabeth. N.T. by Dianne Coulter


Dianne Coulter
Cousin of Elizabeth. N.T.
ceramic, polyurethane, cotton cloth, jute, plastic bag, steel armature 
167 x 55 x 55 cm

© the artist

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Winner, inaugural Blake Prize for Human Justice, 58th Blake Prize Exhibition,  National Art School Gallery, Sydney, 4 Sep - 3 Oct, 2009

Further Information

Ceramists are frequently limited by the size of their kilns, the amount of clay they can control on the spinning potter's wheel, utilitarian considerations of design or simply the heavy weight of tradition. While Dianne Coulter certainly uses clay, she states, I have never thought of myself as a ceramicist: always as a sculptor. If occasionally works are relatively small, others are decidedly not; she refuses to let the kiln size limit her imagination. And when she makes allusions to the past, tradition is never a limiting factor. Her use of clay is highly experimental and often combined with a wide range of imaginative, unlikely materials.

Ken Scarlett, curator and writer on Australian sculpture, 2006 (abbreviated version)

On her winning entry artist Dianne Coulter said: "I have dressed her immaculately in natural fibre: wool for the lamb, cotton for Egypt that gave sanctuary, pregnant for hope, carrying a loaf of white bread for nourishment - alluding to Christ.  Or is she just a frightened, disenfranchised young girl with a lousy loaf of dubious quality bread caught drinking at the wrong watering hole?"

Mr Crumlin commented that: "The winning creation, a sculpture of an Aboriginal woman, challenges our conditioned responses to race and humanity and embodies what this new award is about. Cousin Elizabeth NT is a powerful work amongst many outstanding creations, all helping us to understand our humanity with greater clarity. ...

She holds on to you a little like her connection to the land. Her skin and hair with tones of iron ore, strong feet and hands anchoring her to her daily needs and demands and a face that reflects emotions from different angles, she seems prepared and reflective on her upcoming birth. The white bread is at odds with her rich nature and physicality and holds a number of contradictions to consider".

Mr Paddy Crumlin, National Secretary of the National Maritime and Rev Rod Pattenden, Chair of the Blake Society, were the judges of the new prize for Human Justice, selected from the 88 finalists and drawn from 1000 original entries.


Further reading, biography and exhibition history can be found under the Artists section here.


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