Born in Ararat in regional Victoria in 1972, David Ray’s ceramic practice uses humour and satire partnered with a uniquely refined approach to his materials to continue a commentary on a cross section of our lives, often specifically concerned with creating a dialogue around the aspect consumerism plays within it.
David graduated from RMIT University in Melbourne in 1995 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours (Ceramics) and has subsequently undertaken many positions including a Clay Studio residency in Philadelphia, USA & an Australia Council residency at Blue Coat studios in Liverpool, United Kingdom. He was a finalist of the Basil Sellers Art Prize 2 at the Ian Potter Museum of Art in 2010, and again in 2016 in Basil sellers Art Prize 5.
Through his ceramics, David Ray provides wry commentary on contemporary consumerism and the less celebrated aspects of Australian cultural life. His work often explores the complex relationship between beauty and ugliness, and defies conventional making technique. Creating neo-baroque ceramics, incorporating an abundance of colours, textures and decals onto his handcrafted vessels, Ray is interested in the idea of ceramics as both functional objects and ornaments of value.
“The hand of the artist is never far from one’s consciousness when viewing my work, which is intentionally imperfect, asymmetrical and sometimes seemingly top heavy. Also lingering in one’s awareness is the nature of ceramics; usually pristinely designed and immaculately fashioned and fragile. These two opposing qualities are a reaction to the over-riding influence of machines as opposed to the natural.” – David Ray
David continues to work from his cave in the Yarra Valley, Victoria. His work is held in Australian and international collections including;
The Margaret Lawrence Australian Ceramics Collection (Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne); National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne); RMIT University (Melbourne); Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane); Shepparton Art Gallery (Victoria); The Clay Studio, (Philadelphia, USA).
Listen to David discussing his Art Installation at Artspace Mackay : ‘I come in Peace, Take me to your Leader’ here
Watch the video below to see David Ray discussing his ‘Spectacle’ in the Basil Sellers Award 2016.