Avital sheffer is a ceramic artist based on the North-Coast of NSW, Australia. She creates large ceramic vessel forms, strong in presence and refined in detail. From her native country of Israel she brings a deep engagement with multi- faceted Middle–Eastern cultures, history and design – complexities and dilemmas she explores in her work. She has developed a unique aesthetic language – at once intimate and universal. While speaking of ancient civilizations, the idiosyncratic forms and intricate surfaces of the vessels ground her work firmly in the contemporary. Sheffer employs hand-forming techniques along with a unique printing practice to which she brings her life experience in working with other mediums. The earthenware clay forms are created by coils, they are repeatedly glazed with engobes, slips and dry glazes, printed and multiple fired. Her forms are contained and voluptuous, architectural and anthropomorphic, layered with detail and meaning. Since 2004 Avital had been exhibiting extensively in Australia and the US. She was a finalist in numerous competitions, juried and invitational exhibitions and won several awards including the Josephine Ulrich prize for excellence at the Gold Coast international Ceramic Award in 2005 and The Border Art Prize in 2008 as well as Australia Council Grants for New Work. She was recently selected as a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. Her work is represented in public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Sydney Powerhouse, Manly Art gallery & Museum, Gold Coast City Art gallery, Art Gallery of Ballarat as well as corporate and important private collections.
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