Ebony Russell is an artist living and working in Sydney, Australia. She completed a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Honours) at Monash University in 2003 and in 2019 graduated from The National Art School Sydney with a Master of Fine Art and now a sessional lecturer in the Ceramics Department. Russell has won many awards including the Franz International Rising Star Award in 2018.
As a child she was obsessed with ornaments and anything frilly and pink. Cake decorating was a particular passion of hers and she longed for the most decorative cake on my birthday each year. She wants to investigate how these objects and decorative processes have the capacity to evoke memories and engender a return to childhood reverie in adult life. Ebony is interested in exploring decorative practices traditionally performed by women as the main construction method for her practice.
Artwork Themes & Subject Matter
Ebony Russell uses an unorthodox approach to construct ceramic sculptures. Inspired by traditional craft practices and cake decorating Ebony methodically pipes porcelain in series of intricate layers to build gravity-defying forms. Challenging the traditional making processes of decorative vessels; in her works the decoration becomes the structure, and the boundaries between the two are erased.
Using piping – a technique usually reserved for the cake decorating craft of royal icing – Ebony creates vessels, candelabras, grottos and sculptures the decorative detail is the foundation of the form and is an ode to excess, made entirely of ornamentation. She embraces the underlying feminine-coded attributes of porcelain sculpture, decorative arts and use decoration as a medium. The labour-intensive process connects to women’s craft practice and honours the passing down of matrilineal craft within my family while rebuffing the historical discrimination of decoration. Ornamentation and decoration are celebrated creating the foundation, architecture and entirety of the artwork.
Ebony Russell’s sculptures have been published in notable magazines and online sources including Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, Vault Magazine, ArtEdit, Artist Profile.
2019 Masters of Fine Arts, National Art School, NSW, Australia
2006 Graduate Diploma in Education, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2003 Bachelor of Applied Arts (Ceramics) (Honours) Monash University, Victoira, Australia
2022 De•Corum, Artreal Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Sad Birthday, Artereal Gallery, Sydney, Australia
#OTT, Artereal Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Selected Group Exhibitions
2023 Think Pinker, Gavlak Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. United States
It’s Not Just Blue, Craft, Melbourne, Australia
Thinking Through Pink, Wollongong Art Gallery, New South Wales, Australia