Collide + Divide Artist biographies

Group 1: Sam Gold + Francesca Sykes

Sam Gold is an emerging South Australian artist. Gold works ceramics, sculpture and installation. Conceptually exploring the body’s faculty for Poiesis in order to document movement and memory. Utilising clay as a chosen medium for its mimetic qualities. This process-oriented work is held together by the indexical trace of gesture. Gold creates installations from ceramic floor based and wall mounted pieces, these works are often one body of work, from small to large scales. The works are made with the intention of marking the clay from the body. The body a tool, the clay a site to document. The intention in Gold's work is to speak to the ‘storiness’ of our lived materiality and view objects as artefacts that are imbued with intimate acts of meaning.

Francesca Sykes is Furniture Designer/Maker and current Associate at the JamFactory in Adelaide. Always asking “what if”, Sykes seeks to question and redefine traditional furniture archetypes to suit contemporary needs. Her work draws on her training in Interior Design to examine human interaction with space and objects, and create functional forms that surprise and delight. Her previous projects have responded to themes of sustainability through the development of new biodegradable and upcycled materials. Sykes is focused on producing high-quality contemporary pieces in partnership with local manufacturers, in order to reduce carbon emissions from international transport and waste from low-quality mass-produced furniture items. As a Furniture Studio Associate at the JamFactory, she hopes to refine her craft to create pieces that interrogate sustainable human connections with our urban and natural environment.

Group 2: Mirjana Dobson + David Liu

Mirjana Dobson is an Australian contemporary ceramic artist with a curiosity and preoccupation for the beauty and vulnerability of nature’s living creatures. Her particular interest lies in the rare and complex ecology of our wondrous coral reef and underwater ecosystems. Using clay as her medium to reference the connection to Earth for all living creatures; Dobson employs forms, textures and compositions found in nature as design elements for her organic sculptures. Fusing an abstract reference of marine plants, animals and bacteria, she constructs biomorphic organisms that both connect and confront the relationship between nature and man. These ambiguous forms consider the complexities of organic life but also seek to translate observations of the natural environment to reflect changes in states of nature due to human influence. Primarily, it is the fragility and delicate balance of the natural world that is the central and overriding theme throughout her body of work.

David Liu is a current associate of the JamFactory furniture workshop. Liu graduated from ANU with a Bachelor of Design focusing on wooden furniture and object design in 2020. Liu has abundant experiences working with Australian and exotic timber. His practice focuses on the geometric shapes applied to abstract the complex environment by creating simple forms depicting animals, plants and other intricate structures in daily life. Liu uses traditional woodworking skills and techniques throughout his craft and hopes to develop works in the modern aesthetic and apply the traditions of handcraft skills and techniques as much as possible. In his practice and residency in JamFactory, he is also keen to investigate the concept of making furniture by using offcuts and firewood commonly wasted for major furniture projects.


Group 3: Polly Dymond and Duncan Young

Polly Dymond is a current Jewellery and Metal Associate at JamFactory. A finalist of the DIA GOTYA Awards (Jewellery) and recipient of the NMH Metalworks Prize for Smithing she completed an Advanced Diploma of Jewellery and Object Design at Melbourne Polytechnic in 2019. Previously undertaking a Bachelor of Arts at Swinburne University, Dymond spent a decade working in teaching, cinema exhibition, marketing and event management before her lifelong preoccupation with making grew too strong to ignore. Her current practice is driven by a deep love of the natural and elemental combined with despair over the loss of craftsmanship and disposability of contemporary objects and materials (plastic, plastic plastic!). The resulting jewellery and objects possess a duality of process; forging and forming exploring ancient traditional techniques alongside the manipulation and metamorphosis of discarded single use packaging and plastics, transforming them into precious and permanent artefacts.

Duncan Young is a furniture maker and climbing arborist currently based at JamFactory in Adelaide. His experiences of the waste generated by the urban tree industry push Young to be a part of the whole journey a tree takes to become a piece of fine furniture. Through his work he hopes to draw straight lines between the timber that surrounds us and the trees from which they came , somewhere in the forests and backyards of Australia. Young has exhibited broadly across Australia, winning awards at both Craft Victoria and the Australian Design Centre in 2020. He is currently working on a collaborative project with Wallpaper* Magazine and AHEC which will exhibit at the London Design Museum in September 2021.


Group 4: Eloise White + Daria Fox + Alexandra Hirst

Eloise White is an Adelaide-based emerging artist and ceramicist. White graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Visual Arts, Print Media & Drawing Major, and Bachelor of Commerce, Finance Major, in 2017. White is currently a Ceramic Associate at the JamFactory, Adelaide. White’s practice is grounded in the study of ancient forms, clay techniques and cultures that are steeped in hand building traditions. A coiling process originating from raw clay slabs forms her organic vessels. The raw power of this form creates space for irregularities and natural pigmentation to remain visible to the naked eye, unapologetically conveying the intimate relationship between material, form and maker.

Daria Fox is an emerging contemporary jeweller currently completing her Advanced Diploma of Jewellery and Object Design. She creates sculptural, wearable pieces of art exploring themes of the cultural and historical use of jewellery for its mystical properties of protection.

Alexandra Hirst is a South Australian glass artist whose work spans glass blowing, glass casting and installation. While obtaining her Bachelor of Visual Arts (Sculpture) at UNSW (2015), she was exposed to glassblowing through an international exchange program and was instantly drawn to the materiality and collaborative nature of glass craft. In 2019, Hirst completed her Masters in Glass at the Edinburgh College of Art, where she learnt to incorporate digital technologies with traditional glassblowing and casting techniques. Her 3D printed cast glass artwork, Building Blocks, was a finalist in the emerging artist category of the Fuse Glass Prize 2020. Following her masters, Hirst joined the JamFactory in Adelaide, where she is now working as a Glass Blowing Associate.


Group 5: Erin Daniell and Bailey Donovan

Erin Daniell is a contemporary maker and visual artist from Adelaide, South Australia. She completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts) at Flinders University majoring in jewellery and object design. Her works explore the concept of beauty and imperfection, in the form of small-scale sculptures cast from hand carved wax or natural materials with traditional silversmithing techniques. As a female artist she believes that jewellery can be a powerful marker of identity and expression. 

Bailey Donovan is an Adelaide-based emerging artist. Donovan graduated from the University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Contemporary Art in 2019; as well as studying glass abroad in Venice, and under various glass artists at the Corning Museum of Glass (USA) and JamFactory. With experience working as a production-based artist, Donovan combines the ideas of design and functionality with influences of the vast Australian landscape to create vessel-based artworks and functional ware.


IMAGE 2: artists, title, 2022. PHOTO: MICHEAL HAINES