5 Elements, 5 Artists

Group ceramic art exhibition

Date: Sep 9 – Sep 22Space: Main Gallery

See how 5 different artists respond to 5 stated elements we find in our world. Each individual artist has created a piece representing each element – you can expect to see a diverse response with the creation of finely crafted artworks but as a group exhibition the overall brief provides cohesiveness and interest to the viewer.


What do these elements represent to you? Find out how this group of different artists interpret these themes from very different perspectives – this will be an interesting and vivid exhibition to view and experience.


The five artists are:

Karen Greenslade

Jill Kennett

Jenny Tutu

Claire Lysaght

Mandy Olsen


This group has been working with clay for a combined total of 64 years – enjoy this exhibition and its diverse elements.


Jenny Tutu

Kia ora, Hello. Talofa Lava and warm Pacific greetings.

My name is Jenny Tutu. Ko Whangarei toku kainga, no Ahuriri inianei. Like for many things in my life, I am a late bloomer, hence my pottery journey only began almost three years ago.  I am a hand builder and really enjoy building pieces and then decorating them in many different ways.

I am heavily influenced by what I see around me and my many trips around the Pacific. The philosophy behind what I do is making pottery accessible to all, be it by a one off piece, teaching people what I know about pottery (which is forever growing!), or by using it to rejuvenate myself and others.  I am yet to find my niche, but am enjoying every bit of the journey.


Jill Kennett/Woven Earth Arts

I am a ceramic artist working from my home studio in Hastings. I have been working in clay for 25 years. Currently I teach art at a local Intermediate school 3 days a week and teach ceramics from my home studio 4 nights a week.  From 2010 – 2014 I studied for a diploma in Ceramic Arts through Otago Polytechnic. I am now contracted by a local pottery club to deliver the practical part of the Diploma of Art and Design for Otago Polytechnic students.

I work with clay in a variety of ways, however, my love is for sculpting large forms that can go in the garden. This is what I hold in my head as I design and build each piece.  Behind this current body of work is the idea of anchor stones. Anchor stones have been used throughout history to anchor seagoing vessels. I have used this as a metaphor for how we are all anchored to the elements in our everyday lives. Being anchored metaphorically helps us to navigate the world around us. My forms are organic and abstract in a sense and I have used my love of crater glazes and texture to interpret the 5 elements into a colour palette which I have applied to each form.


Claire Lysaght – CL Ceramics

I am a potter based in Taradale, Hawkes Bay. I have been making ceramics for over four years.

I discovered my love of ceramics when I took classes at Auckland Studio Potters where I learned basic handbuilding, wheel throwing and glazing techniques. Fast forward four years, a pandemic, a redundancy from my marketing manager job in Auckland and  a relocation to Hawkes Bay where I’m now based. I have a tiny shed in Taradale where I practise wheel throwing.

I teach the wheel at Taradale pottery club, and I am also involved in social pottery and sharing the joy of clay with dozens of people who’ve had very little or no experience. My work is mainly on the wheel, and my current influences are from my European roots. I find making ceramics is a deeply personal expression of myself, each of my pieces is a physical manifestation of my state of being at that time.

This collection of work has been inspired by the past, particularly European symbolism of Celtic, Roman, Greek and Viking mythology.


Mandy Olson

I have been working with clay since the 1990s when I attended Adult Education pottery classes at Wellington High and sculpture classes at Petone College. It was during this time I began exhibiting with the NZ Academy of Fine Arts and I joined an artists co-op in Cuba St Wellington with potters PaulWinspear and Katherine Smythe. I began selling my work in our co-op gallery known as The Bakehouse as well as through Wellington Potters Shop and other galleries throughout NZ.

My work is largely figurative in nature and I am always exploring the decorative side of clay work. I enjoy the therapeutic dimension of working with clay and the endless diversity clay offers.


Karen Greenslade

I love clay! I have been creating with clay for over 10 years and it always gives me great things – the creative buzz, hands on physical work, learning (all the time) and a connection with other like minded people.

5 elements are a fundamental basis for all life and these works aim to show each element’s connection to human emotion and ourselves.  One element may engage you more than others, which one is it for you?

My aim is to build characters that tell a story, engage you by feeling familiar. We are all fundamentally the same – there are bits of you and me we can recognise in each work and it shows we are all connected to the 5 elements and to each other. The forms are playful, the drawings based on emotion shown in peoples faces. Each piece also has a practical element – clay gives us that ability to create art that also has a purpose.

Each element is hand-built using minimal tools. They are made from a local clay with a bit of grit which gives the textured, speckled finish. Feeling the clay while hand-building leads to a more instinctive way of creating – this is my preferred way of working. Texture and colour are very important features and are added to enhance and add another dimension and layer to the piece.

Risk is a big factor when working with clay – this means things don’t always turn out the way you thought they would. Having random aspects at play makes clay art very unique plus makes us pretty relaxed people who can cope with anything!

Thanks to the group of 5 artists that I have had the absolute pleasure of working with over this past year, it’s been amazing. I hope you enjoy viewing our collection of work.


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