'Stutiyi (Thank you)' presents a series of ceramic cups and bowls, each formed from an original design inspired by the gum trees surrounding Ursula’s Toowoomba studio space.
De Krester's ceramic vessels feature natural anomalies and variations that arose during her creative processes, making each one unique and decorated according to the individual intricacies of each piece. The Eucalyptus gum leaf pattern demonstrates a link between the Toowoomba studio space that she’s been working in for the past four years and her art practice, which explores recurring themes of nature.
The vessels were stacked within the Project Space to resemble clean dishes within a domestic setting, which urges a sense of familiarity for the viewer. The primary purpose of the work is in the communal, participatory act of a shared meal using the presented vessels. Participation involved each visitor exploring the installation to hand pick the piece/s that they will choose to interact with.
This participatory exercise served to bring together the Toowoomba creative community in celebration and gratitude, thanking them for their support in establishing de Krester's art practice as an emerging artist. Coming together, to signify the importance of a stage or event in a person’s life, over a home-cooked, traditional Sri Lankan meal is a culturally embedded custom in her life. De Krester aims for this significance and importance to be shared through both the vessels and food, in celebration and in thanks as one chapter closes: leaving her professionally foundational studio space of four years, and a new chapter opens: moving to Europe to continue developing her art practice.
Thank you to Betros Bros. and the Toowoomba Organic Food Market for their kind support in donating produce for the shared meal.
Photography by Kirsty Lee.