On the Couch with Kirsten Coelho

Kirsten-Coelho-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Kirsten Coelho?
I am a potter living in Adelaide.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I would be more organised and better with my time. Pottery hours are always different to real time hours.

Who inspires you and why?
Hard to pinpoint just one person. Artists who have deep commitments with their practice currently and from history. I am also lucky in Adelaide, I have many inspiring mentors like artists Helen Fuller, Julie Blyfield, Stephen Bowers, Susan Frost and Khai Liew.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Try and be better at recycling my materials and find more sustainable ways to fire my ceramic works.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
London, we have close family there and it always fills the heart to arrive in London and see everyone. Also, Port Victoria, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. I always went there as a child and have been many times as an adult. The air smells like wheat mixed with ocean. The sea can be wild and other days calm and transparent like glass. It is the best place to just stop and take in the world and also have fine handmade biscuits from the Minlaton craft shop!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
In South Australia we have two incredible wine regions north and south of the city. Even if you don’t drink, these areas are beautiful to see. Also going to see artworks at the Samstag Museum of Art, the Jam Factory and the Art Gallery of South Australia.

What are you currently reading?
I just bought Letters to Camondo by Edmund de Waal. The book is a series of letters written by Edmund de Waal to Count Moïse de Camondo who in 1935 bequeathed all of his collected artworks and home to France. Edmund de Waal is a world renown ceramic artist and author. His books The White Road and The Hare with the Amber Eyes are also fantastic to read

What are you currently listening to?
The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy on audiobook. Recently on a road trip my husband and I listened to all of Moby Dick narrated by Frank Mueller. The narration was absolutely brilliant. Afterwards I looked into what else had been narrated by Frank Meuller, who has sadly passed away, and two books of the Border Triology have been narrated by him. All the Pretty Horses (Book One) was atmospheric, tragic and poignant. I can get through a lot of audiobooks when I am working. The Border Trilogy has been some of the best!

Happiness is?
Being in the moment doing what you love or being with who you love.

What does the future hold for you?
None of us really know the future, but today it’s doing pottery and that is joy!

Kirsten brings together several new and recent works inspired by Grecian and Roman artefacts and architectural remnants in The Return – on display at the UNSW Galleries, Paddington until 31 July 2021. For more information, visit: www.artdesign.unsw.edu.au for details.

Image: Kirsten Coelho – photo by Daniel Noone