A keynote address planned as part of Breaking Ground – a three-day celebration of all things ceramics at Objectspace. Join us for 'present, future, past, over and over again, now – ceramics in the expanded field' with international visitor Glenn Barkley.

In this Ockham Lecture, artist, writer and curator Barkley will explore the ever changing fate and state of ceramics as it becomes entangled with the problems of recent pasts and possible futures.

This conversational-style lecture will attempt to cover the changing reception of ceramics as contemporary art; training and technology; health and safety and the sheer joy of being and making in the studio.

Glenn Barkley is an artist, writer, curator and gardener based between the Shoalhaven and Sydney, NSW, Australia. His work operates in the space between these interests drawing upon the history of ceramics, popular song, the garden and conversations about art and the internet.

Major exhibitions include the electrical experience, Sullivan+Strumpf (2023), Plant Your Feet, Shoalhaven Regional Gallery (2022), The Urn of Bitter Prophecy, Sullivan + Strumpf (2021); Regarding George Ohr, Boca Raton Musuem of Art, Florida USA (2017); yetmorecontemporaryart, Artspace, Sydney (2017); the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object, Art Gallery of South Australia (2016); The Garden of Earthly Delights, Westspace, Melbourne (with Angela Brennan) (2016); Watching Clouds Pass the Moon, Lake Macquarie Regional Gallery, NSW (2016); and Glazed and Confused: Ceramics in Contemporary Art Practice, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, NSW (2014).

Barkley was previously senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (2008–14) and curator of the University of Wollongong Art Collection (1996–2007).

In 2023, Barkley launched his book Ceramics: An Atlas of Forms, a global cultural study of the history of ceramics, sharing the stories of over 100 objects, honouring the artists who have left their mark on this timeless practice. This coincided with the curation of brick vase clay cup jug, a look at the Art Gallery of New South Wales’s collection.

He was a finalist in the 2017 Sidney Myer Ceramics Award and is held in numerous collections both nationally and internationally, including the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Shepparton Art Museum and Artbank, Sydney.

This Ockham Lecture is part of Breaking Ground, a ceramics festival at Objectspace that includes...

Breaking Ground: Ceramics Symposium
10am – 6pm, Thursday 6 June

Breaking Ground: Ockham Lecture with Glenn Barkley
6pm – 7pm, Thursday 6 June

Breaking Ground: Ceramics Workshops
10am – 4pm, Saturday 8 June

Breaking Ground: Ceramics Market
11am – 3pm, Sunday 9 June

The Ockham Lecture series is an annual programme of lectures and panel discussions across different themes that critically engage with craft, design and architecture. This programme is supported by Objectspace's Lead Partner Ockham Residential.

Breaking Ground is supported by Auckland Council

Glenn Barkley, portrait by Ainslie.Co Photography

Portland Lyrebird Vase with Sydney Cove Medallion, 2024, earthenware, photograph by Mark Pokorny