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Monday 15 July 2024

How to Become Flora

26 July - 8 September 2024

How to Become Flora

Baylee Griffin

L to R: Baylee GriffinMicro Isopogon cuneatus, 2024, Wheel thrown wild clay and stoneware mix with satin black glaze, 19.5 x 7.5 x 7.5cm; Baylee GriffinRecoiling, 2024, wheel thrown recycled stoneware with rust wash and black glaze, 40.5 x 14 x 14cm. Photograph: Amanda Galea. 

Gurambilbarra-based artist Baylee Griffin (they/she) presents their first large-scale ceramic installation and body of work in How to Become Flora. The exhibition invites viewers to appreciate Australian flora while also considering its environmental precarity in the production of ceramic work. This priority is a response to Griffin’s strenuous endeavour to incorporate sustainably-sourced Australian and local materials into their practice. The works, crafted from a blend of found clay, studio waste, and collected and purchased glaze materials, embody a journey that reveals the complex interplay between artistic vision and environmental responsibility. While Griffin's work has been largely influenced by Australian flora, they discovered, through learning more about the origins of materials in their practice, the extent to which they were inadvertently harming the very inspiration they drew from. Griffin acknowledges this duality, but simultaneously persists in their practice and advocates for positive change toward a more mindful approach. How to Become Flora draws on this context to present hundreds of suspended ceramic coils, alluding to the stylised and hollow form of a grevillea. This is complemented by a collection of thrown and decorated vessels inspired by elements of native flora.

Exhibitions launch
6pm Friday 26 July 2024
How to Become Flora will open alongside Shirley Dawson's Ingkerrenh/Antey (Stories)
Free events | Bookings are not required however capacity limits may apply.

Umbrella Floortalk
10am Saturday 27 July 2024
Join Umbrella to hear from exhibiting artist Baylee Griffin. Read more and book here.

Coil Flower Workshop
9:30am-12:30pm Saturday 31 August 2024
Engage in collaborative ephemeral sculpture with exhibiting artist Baylee Griffin. Read more and book here.

Baylee Griffin (they/she) is an artist and community arts facilitator. Largely working with ceramics, their practice is an act of resilience and reciprocity, rooted in identity and embodied ecocentrism – that is, the view or belief that the rights and needs of humans are not more important than those of other living things. Griffin’s studio practice is accordingly rooted in sustainability, where they endeavour to find and create with accessible local material. Griffin volunteers as the secretary of North Queensland Potters Association and their work in community arts has taken them throughout regional and rural Queensland, where they care deeply about fostering meaningful connections with, and holding safe spaces for diverse communities.

Griffin was a finalist in the 2022 North Queensland Ceramic Awards, and has exhibited throughout Queensland. The artist received a 2023 RADF grant to interrogate the sustainability of their practice, and they shared their findings with the community through seminars and workshops. Griffin has written multiple articles for the Journal of Australian Ceramics as a part of their dedication to connecting regional practice to global dialogues.

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(07) 4772 7109

408 Flinders Street,
Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

PO Box 2394,
Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

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Acknowledgement of Country

Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts respectfully acknowledges the Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun and the surrounding groups of our region - Bindal, Gugu Badhan, Nywaigi, Warrgamay, Bandjin and Gudjal - as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather, share and celebrate local creative practice. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first people of Australia. They have never ceded sovereignty and remain strong in their enduring connection to land and Culture.

Umbrella is a Dealer Member of the Indigenous Art Code. This means we are committed to fair and ethical trade with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and transparency in the promotion and sale of artwork. As a Dealer Member and signatory to the Code we must act fairly, honestly, professionally and in good conscience in all direct or indirect dealings with artists.


Umbrella is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments. | Umbrella is supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and receives funding from Creative Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund. | Townsville City Council is a funding partner of Umbrella's program.