This conversation was recorded at the Australian Ceramics Triennale on 3 May 2019 at Princes Wharf One, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
Lou McCallum was joined by Jane Bamford after her presentation, The CSIRO Spotted Handfish Project.
Jane began studying ceramics in Japan in 1993. She subsequently completed her BFA, majoring in Ceramics at the Tasmanian College of the Arts and was awarded the Deans’ roll of excellence. Jane was later selected as an Associate at the Jam Factory Craft and Design Centre in Adelaide and has worked in her own studio practice, educational facilities and exhibited throughout Australia and internationally. This year she was a finalist in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize and successively undertook an Art/Science residency at UTAS School of Creative Arts.
Jane’s work is primarily informed from research and observation of the coastal, marine and alpine landscapes of Tasmania. This observation, connection to place and environmental awareness has led her to produce work on issues like climate change’s impact on Tasmanian marine environments and the reestablishment of Spotted Handfish spawning habitat.
In 2018 Jane began a commission for the CSIRO to design and make 3000 ceramic artificial spawning habitat (ASH) for the Spotted Handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus). These installations of ASH were SCUBA deployed to support this critically endangered marine species. Creating ceramic ASH is a significant project which intersects her ceramic art practice with current scientific research and practice. In September 2018 the Spotted Handfish’s first wild spawning around ceramic ASH was observed. It is rare that an arts practice has the opportunity to engage so directly with the natural environment in a manner that is beyond interpretive and has very real achievable positive ecological outcomes.