Esther Konings-Oakes
“Esther Konings-Oakes understands the importance of challenging public perceptions of art and art making. She enjoys realising other people's visions as well as her own in both gallery and non-gallery spaces. Esther is currently extending her Fine Arts degree with a Masters of Art in Public Space as well as working with people with a disability at

Biography

The focus of Esther’s art practice has developed into a dialogue between the human and the non-human world.  

Esther’s career in art commenced with community projects in 2003, she consolidated her practice by attending RMIT university, to complete a Bachelor of Arts -Fine Arts with distinction in 2011 and continued by attaining first class honours in 2012. Currently she is undertaking her Masters of Art in Public Space also at RMIT.  

Esther’s work is intuitive by nature and utilizes combinations of hand-built sculptures and media to realise her vision.  Most often she works with ceramics, as it is a tactile and responsive medium. The clay pieces are a combination of hand built sculptures and wheel thrown forms. Her hand built structures initially explore the relationship between humans and dogs while the wheel thrown works became more abstract.  These abstracted forms address issues around the scientific and natural world.  

This abstraction led her to focus her study Radiolaria organisms. They were initially studied and catalogued by the naturalist Ernst Haeckel in the early 1800’s using the first microscopes.  These beautiful and intricate single-celled organisms have survived deep time unchanged. She is interested in investigating how her work with these creatures and other creatures can engage the public. Her focus for this work is the exploration of the disconnect that has developed between humans and their environment.  

Her current work follows on by addressing human disconnect with their own refuse and the effect of this on landscapes.  Her work, Conduit, located at CERES for the Harvest festival was made of recycled rubbish items including pipes, a metal brazier, and orange netting nestled in the dam.  Her mapping project for Market2Square transformed found discarded objects into paper replicas. These were numbered and mapped according to where they were found.  

Esther has exhibited a sculptural installation in Nocturnal 2013  located at Dandenong. This work revealed her process of examining the natural world in a created office space located in a darkened car park. The work’s dual purpose revealed hidden spaces as well as allowing the public to see the process of observation, drawing and realisation of her work. This exploration of space and process was a fresh and exciting new direction for Esther’s work, further allowing her to draw the public into her realm.  

Esther’s latest work featured in the 2014 Mountain to Mouth at Moorpanyal Park. Here she combined a story related to her by a local resident, her own work based on analysis of the site and community group work  into a night-based walking circle. This featured 160 lantern fish made by  locals, 300 illuminated porcelain Corio-bay oysters, numerous pieces of lit hyperbolic reef crochet made by the Norlane yarn bombers, beach combing loot collected by the children of St Thomas Aquinus and large free-form beacon sculptures. This work drew upon themes of place making, environmental awareness and community connectedness.

When not making art Esther lives happily at her home with adored husband, three wonderful children, Gandalf the cat and the numerous guide dog puppies that traipse through our lives.

Links

Location

11-15 Orr Street, Carlton, Victoria, Australia

Esther Konings-Oakes

11-15 Orr Street, Carlton, Victoria, Australia

“Esther Konings-Oakes understands the importance of challenging public perceptions of art and art making. She enjoys realising other people's visions as well as her own in both gallery and non-gallery spaces. Esther is currently extending her Fine Arts degree with a Masters of Art in Public Space as well as working with people with a disability at a ceramics facility and on various council projects.”

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