Dean Smith is a ceramic artist, working with special effect high fire glazes combined with low fire enamels and precious metal lustres.
Dean Smith was born in Brisbane in 1971. In that same year his family moved (back) to New Zealand, having lived in Australia for only 3 months. Smith has Māori ancestry through his father. His Great, great, great grandmother was Raiha Raiha Tamaihana, a member of the Ngati Toa tribe of the South Island. Through his ancestry Dean Smith is a member of the Ngati Toa tribe, the Marae of which is situated in Kaikoura in the South Island. Growing up in New Zealand in a country farmhouse between the forest and the ocean in Opononi gave Dean a special connection with nature which carries through into his ceramic art today. In 1981 Dean’s parents moved the family again to Australia, first to Brisbane, then to the cooler climes of Victoria.
Dean was introduced to pottery as a teenager. He began making pots with his father and firing them in their backyard gas-fired kiln. Largely self-taught, he received some training at Southbank TAFE in Brisbane and from family friend and Master Potter Ted Secombe who introduced him to crystalline glazes.
In his practice Dean interweaves past and present/his ancestry and his immediate experiences/New Zealand and Cental Victoria/the imagined and the real. Dean aims to link the natural world with the industrial world – sourcing inspiration from crystals, rocks, metals, the landscape, the Seasons, machinery, minimalism and electronic soundscapes, as well as his Maori ancestry.
Dean currently lives in Central Victoria where the raw post-mining landscapehas a strong influence on his work.
“The landscape is jagged from the gold-mining activity of the past. These details become surface markings on my ceramics, either through scoring or drawing with enamels and palladium. The details in the glaze surface is also important to me – adding depth and feeling through areas of micro or macro crystallisations and movement of colour.”
Dean Smith’s artwork has featured in important national and international ceramic exhibitions and has won several major awards, including the Silver Prize, Taiwan Ceramics Biennale 2012, Special Citation, 8th Cheongju International Craft Competition, South Korea 2013, winner, Clunes National Ceramic Award, 2013 and winner, Vase Finder International 9th Annual Exhibition, USA 2014.
Alcaston Gallery exhibited Dean Smith’s work for the first time in 2015, with his solo exhibition Erbium and Stone. In the same year Dean Smith was announced Winner of the 2015 Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award, and was represented by Alcaston Gallery at the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair 2015.
In 2016 Dean Smith featured in Alcaston Gallery's exhibition Provenance Does Matter: The Collectors' Exhibition. This significant exhibition featured major artworks by important Australian and international artists with impeccable provenance. Curated by Beverly Knight, each artwork has had the added prestige of being selected by critical appraisers to be featured in significant museum exhibitions and art prizes.
Dean Smith was a finalist in the 2016 Biennial North Queensland Ceramic Art Award and the Förderpreis Keramik der Nassauischen Sparkasse/ Talent Award, KeramikMuseum westerwald Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany.
In April 2017 Alcaston Gallery presented Dean Smith’s solo exhibition 'Pink Terraces', his most adventurous exhibition to date. Smith also featured in the exhibition 'The Extractive Frontier: Mining For Art' at the 2017 Castlemaine State Festival in Victoria, Australia.
In 2018 Dean Smith was awarded a Career Development Grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to undertake a studio residency at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre in Skælskør, Denmark. During this 12 week residency Dean Smith will develop body of new work that will explore geological processes, focusing specifically on ideas of creation, eradication and impermanence. The conceptual underpinning of this project will consider the idea of impermanence in relation to the white cliffs of Møns Klint, located on the island of Møn that is part of Sydsjælland (South Zealand).
In 2018 Dean Smith presented new ceramic sculptures at Sydney Contemporary 18, represented by Alcaston Gallery.
© The Artist and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
2013 Outer Moons, Raglan Gallery, Manly, NSW, Australia
2014 Showcase 2014, Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton, Victoria, Australia
2015 Erbium & Stone, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2017 Pink Terraces, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Selected Group Exhibitions:
2012 Engaging Forms, curated by Anna Maas of Skepsi Gallery, The Barn Gallery, Montsalvat, VIC, Australia
2013 Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Gushan District, Taiwan
2013 Expression of Self in Clay, curated by Anna Maas of Skepsi Gallery, The Barn Gallery, Montsalvat, VIC, Australia
2013 Periscope, curated by Deborah Ratcliff, Castlemaine Visual Arts Biennale, VIC, Australia
2013 Something Old Something New, 8th Cheongju International Craft Competition, South Korea
2014 Quiet conversations, Skepsi Gallery at Montsalvat, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
2014 Vase Finder International 9th Annual Exhibition, USA
2014 New Design 2, Sturt Gallery, Mittagong,NSW, Australia
2015 All About Art: Brisbane, Alcaston Gallery Annual Collector's exhibition at White Canvas Gallery, Brisbane, Queensland
2015 Sydney Contemporary 15, Carriageworks represented by Alcaston Gallery, Sydney, NSW, Australia
2016 Provenance Does Matter: The Collectors' Exhibition, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2017 The Extractive Frontier: Mining for Art, co-curated by Beverly Knight and Clare Wright, Castlemaine State Festival, Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia
2017 Sydney Contemporary 15, Carriageworks represented by Alcaston Gallery, Sydney, NSW, Australia
2018 Sydney Contemporary 15, Carriageworks represented by Alcaston Gallery, Sydney, NSW, Australia
2010 Winner, Premier’s Award for Excellence, Tasmanian Craft Fair, Sponsored by the Dept. of Premier and Cabinet Tasmania, Deloraine, TAS, Australia
2012 Silver Prize, Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, Yingge Ceramics Museum, New Taipei City, Taiwan
2013 Winner, Clunes National Ceramic Award, Clunes, Australia
2014 Winner, Vase Finder International 9th Annual Exhibition, USA
2015 Winner, Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award, Victoria, Australia
2016 Finalist, Förderpreis Keramik der Nassauischen Sparkasse/ Talent Award, KeramikMuseum westerwald Höhr-Grenzhausen, Germany
2017 Finalist: Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award, Manningham Art Gallery, Victoria, Australia
2012 Artist in Residence, Yingge Ceramics Museum, New Taipei City, Taiwan
2018 Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre (supported by the Australia Council for the Arts), Skælskør, Denmark
For a full CV, please contact Alcaston Gallery at email@example.com