Tea Seas at BRAG

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Tea Seas, a body of work created during my recent artist residency at Studio Kura in Itoshima, Japan, is now on display at Bunbury Regional Art Galleries (BRAG). It is wonderfully refreshing to be able to exhibit in the same town that I live in for the first time in a long while!

I would like to send a huge thanks to all the staff at BRAG for their involvement, and to Sharon Kennedy for opening the exhibition.

Tea Seas uses imagery of a primordial sea contained in a teacup. Taking their cues from the Japanese tea ceremony, these artworks follow a ritualistic process of repetition and restraint. The paintings, drawings and animation work exhibited use traditional Japanese pigments on rice paper to explore our own biology and evolution.

Photographs by Taj Kemp.

exhibition opening


I’m very excited to have my work in this wonderful exhibition with all these wonderful artists! Curated by David Broke, Innerspace exhibits the work of 8 artists in Canberra Contemporary Art Space’s Gorman House gallery.

Space. It seems to go on and on forever. Then you get to the end, and a monkey starts throwing barrels at you.

Phillip Fry, Futurama

From time immemorial artists have looked to the heavens with a sense of awe and wonder but infinity (as we know it) is definitely not the concern of Innerspace. Christopher Bennie, Jacqueline Bradley, Ham Darroch, Shellaine Godbold, Ellis Hutch, Claire Pendrigh Elliott, Rusty Peters and Jed Wolki take a view of space that is more about reverie than comprehension. Deep space thus becomes a profoundly personal matter. Whether employing cosmic clichés, scientific research, observation or stories, the universal is to be found at home; in the kitchen, the nursery, the studio or the extended backyard. Materials are nearly always appropriately modest, with for example, cardboard boxes, toilet rolls, chocolate wrappers, wool, old newspapers, trash and breakfast cereal expressing grand(iose) ideas that engage with a futile struggle to conquer the meaning of life. Quite simply, Innerspace is an exhibition that sees the notion of space grounded by the gravitational pull of prosaic imagination.

– CCAS –

Innerspace is on exhibition until 15 August at Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman House, Canberra.

You can view the Innerspace catalogue here… 

An Intimate Universe

Claire Pendrigh - photo Paul Webster

Claire Pendrigh, An Intimate Universe, yarn and aluminium. Photo: Paul Webster

My most resent artwork, An Intimate Universe,  is now on display at Bunbury Regional Art Galleries in the Bunbury Biennale. The work takes the form of a hanging mobile with woollen star-clouds suspended from each arm, slowly orbiting a central point. r1433624_20705557

Claire Pendrigh, An Intimate Universe (detail), yarn and aluminium. Photo: Sharon Kennedy

Nebulae are clouds of stars, dust and elements, drawn together and bound by gravity in a stellar family. Like a family, these environments create and nurture new stars and solar systems, and hence they are sometimes referred to as stellar nurseries. Our own galaxy, and everything in it, would have been created through this process. The elements required for stars, planets, life, and for our human bodies, were all forged from stardust. The DNA of my body has been passed down through generations of mothers. My mother taught me to knit, and her mother taught her; a skill, which like mitochondria, has been passed down maternally. An Intimate Universe explores the micro world of human relations and human existence, in the context of the cosmos. This work combines the internal and external, the familiar and the sublime, to make sense of our intimate relationship with stellar matter. You can read more about my work and the Bunbury Biennale in this lovely article by ABC South West. You can also download the online version of the Bunbury Biennale catalogue from the BRAG website.

Conductive pompoms and other adventures

Feet felting

Feet felting

Knit Glitch is a creative duo – Daniel Macnish and myself, Claire Pendrigh.

Last weekend we packed up our things and headed out of town for an art weekend – two whole days devoted to exploring and experimenting with materials. Our primary goal was to make, and play with, a sensor that uses conductive thread embedded in felted wool. These sensors will be a central element in our next Knit Glitch project so we wanted to try out a few different techniques!

The most effective was the conductive pompom, which you can see in this video, controlling a sound. The pitch of the sound can actually be controlled by squeezing the pompom!

If you would like to find out more about Knit Glitch, then head over to our blog. We are very excited to be participating in the 2015 Awesome Arts Creative Challenge, so keep an eye out for future posts about our awesome creation.

First attempt at a felted conductive pompom.

First attempt at a felted conductive pompom.

Felting sensors

Felting sensors

Crocheting a sensor with wool and conductive thread

Crocheting a sensor with wool and conductive thread

Testing the conductivity of a pompom

Testing the conductivity of a pompom

Pompom sensor and crochet sensor

Pompom sensor and crochet sensor

A crochet sensor felted into some fabric

A crochet sensor felted into some fabric

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Tea Seas at Studio Kura


Here are some photos from the opening of “Tea Seas” at Studio Kura in March 2015. It was such a lovely event, filled with smiles, children, and yummy onigiri!

Thank you to all the wonderful people at Studio Kura, especially my lovely fellow artists, for the time I’ve spent here. I feel so lucky to have met you all and to have enjoyed your company for the two months of my residency.

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Installation in the forest


Bleed, 2015, Claire Pendrigh

Bleed catalogues the transition of a structured pattern into disordered forms. These small scrolls were created by stacking sheets of rice paper before painting circles on the top sheet, allowing the paint to bleed through to the paper behind.

I’ve created this work for a shrine festival in Itoshima on 21 March, and these photos are from my test run in the bamboo forest behind the residency house. I’m really looking forward to the festival now, it should be a great chance to meet some locals and enjoy a day out of the studio. I just hope that it doesn’t rain!

Bleed scrolls




Tea Seas


Tea Seas uses imagery of a primordial sea contained within a teacup to explore human existence, both in the context of the domestic and of the universe. This body of work has been created during my two-month artist residency with Studio Kura, Itoshima, Japan.

Tea is a very human beverage. It embodies society, community, hospitality and ritual – social elements that are key to our human existence. Tea is a way to connect with people and open conversations on a domestic scale, but tea can also present a connection to the human existence on far a greater stage.

The water in your teacup is one part of the finite quantity of water we have on Earth. This water changes form, but it is never replenished. The water in your teacup is the same water that flowed in the blood of dinosaurs, and it is the same water from a primordial sea, which may have nursed the first living cells on Earth.

Our natural environment is full of structured patterns, which swing between states order and disorder. Living organisms have the ability to organize. We order elements, arrange cells into complex patterns, build societies and construct rituals.

Just as the circle of your teacup echoes the shape of the cells in your body, it also mirrors the shape of this pale blue dot that we inhabit. Somewhere in the space between order and entropy, is the everyday existence that we know – our work, hobbies, families, and all the interpersonal relationships that we facilitate over a cup of tea.

Taking its cues from the Japanese tea ceremony, Tea Seas follows a ritualistic process of repetition and restraint in order to explore this precarious human existence.

Tea Seas will be exhibited at the Studio Kura Gallery on 28 and 29 March 2015.