About

I remember watching a potter throw jugs and mugs on a wheel at a market in the Belgian Ardennes. I was nine years old. I was fascinated and it became one of those ‘I-always-wanted-to-do-that’ kinds of things. It was nearly twenty years later (1998) when I finally enrolled in a ceramics course in Leuven (Belgium), three nights a week. Throwing was only a third-year option so I started with hand building techniques–and loved it!

In 2004, I went to complete an undergraduate ceramics degree in Bendigo (VIC, Australia). In the previous five years I had repeatedly interrupted my ceramics studies to travel to Australia, so my temporary move to Bendigo finally allowed me to combine my passions for ceramics and Australia. One year turned into many and in 2010 I was granted my PhD in Visual Arts. And I stayed.

While my passion for ceramics was the initial reason for moving to Bendigo, working with clay also helped me cope with the unexpected confusion and distress caused by my migration. It helped me understand and process this emotional impact –albeit unintendedly. The inspiration in natural form and landscape encountered during bushwalks with the local bushwalking club also helped me develop—and understand the importance of developing—a sense of belonging. Under ‘Gallery’, you will find more detail about the different series of work.

My work is intuitive and grows from a deep understanding or knowing of clay. Passing my ceramics skills on to students is a very important part of my practice.

CURRICULUM VITAE

EDUCATION

  • 2017 Master in Social Work (La Trobe University, Bendigo)
  • 2010 PhD Visual Arts, Ceramics (La Trobe University, Bendigo, Australia)
  • 2005 Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours), Ceramics. (La Trobe University, Bendigo (VIC), Australia)
  • 1998 Master Degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology. (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)
  • 1992 Special Certificate in Social and Cultural Anthropology. (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)
  • 1991 Master Degree in (adult) Clinical Psychology (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)

EXHIBITIONS
Solo Exhibitions

2016

  • Resonance, Arnold Street Gallery, Bendigo, 2 – 12 November 2016.

2010

  • More than Skin-Deep, La Trobe University Visual Art Centre, Bendigo, 13 October – 7 November 2010.
  • More than Skin-Deep, Ochre Gallery, Collingwood, 26 August – 30 September 2010.
  • More than Skin-Deep, Phyllis Palmer Gallery, La Trobe University, Bendigo, 9 December 2009 – 3 February 2010.

2008

  • Mini Solo Show in Foyer of Visual Arts Centre – 121 View, Bendigo, 20 March – 27 April 2008.

Group Exhibitions by Selection or Invitation

2022

  • Clay on Country, Araluen Art Gallery, Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs. June 18-August.

2017 – 2018

  • Reveries, Living Art Space: Bendigo Visitor Centre, Bendigo. 15 November 2017 – 11 February 2018

2016

  • Response to the Etta Hirsh Collection (La Trobe University), Phyllis Palmer Gallery, Bendigo. October 2016.
  • Distinctive: Skepsi@Montsalvat, The Barn Gallery, Eltham. VIC. 3 – 18 September 2016.
  • Arts Open: Meet the Makers. Group Exhibition at the Old Castlemaine Gaol, Castlemaine. 12 –14 and 19-20 March 2016.

2013

  • Expression of Self in Clay: Skepsi@Montsalvat, The Barn Gallery, Eltham. VIC. 31 August – 15 September 2013.

2012

  • Engaging Form, Skepsi@Montsalvat, The Barn Gallery, Eltham, VIC, 1 – 16 September 2012.

2011

  • PROmotion, Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Manly, 2 December 2011 – 22 January 2012.
  • Energy, Skepsi Gallery @ Malvern Artist’s Society, Malvern, 9 – 25 September 2011.
  • Arresting, Skepsi Gallery @ Malvern Artist’s Society, Malvern, 11 – 27 March 2011.2010
  • ICMEA 2010: Interpretation of Ceramics, Fuping/Jingdezhen, China, 8 November – 15 November 2010.

2009

  • Stirring, Skepsi on Swanston, Melbourne, 15 September – 3 October 2009.

2008

  • 2008 Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award Exhibition, Shepparton Art Gallery, 7 March – 27 April 2008.

2006

  • 2006 Sidney Myer Fund International Ceramics Award Exhibition, Shepparton Art Gallery, Shepparton, February – April 2006.

Other Group Exhibitions
2015

  • The White Shoebox Exhibition (Castlemaine State Festival Open Studios & Exhibitions) Theatre Royal, Castlemaine. 13 – 22 March 2015.
  • CCE Tutors Exhibition, (Castlemaine State Festival Open Studios & Exhibitions) Castlemaine Continuing Education, Castlemaine. 13 – 22 March 2015

2012

  • Art in the Streets, The Bendigo Advertiser, 6 – 20 February, 2012.

2009

  • Celebration: A Group of Victorian Regional Potters, Phyllis Palmer Gallery, La Trobe University, Bendigo, 1 September – 30 September 2009.

2007

  • Castlemaine State Festival Visual Arts Exhibition, Old Castlemaine Gaol, Castlemaine, March – April 2007.

2006

  • Ceramics Victoria on Show, Gallery 159, Brisbane, July 2006.
  • Electric, A Victorian Ceramics Group Members Exhibition, Kiln Gallery, Northcote Pottery, Thornbury, May – June 2006.
  • Spiritual Contours, Ochre Gallery, Collingwood (April – May 2006).

2005

  • 10 @ 121, Honours exhibition, Visual Arts Centre -121 View, Bendigo, November 2005.
  • Victorian Campus Art Exhibition, Community Arts Centre and Town Hall, Box Hill, August 2005.
  • The Rhythm of Studio 2 1/2, Phyllis Palmer Gallery, La Trobe University Bendigo, June 2005.
  • Poised, A Victorian Ceramics Group Members Exhibition, Kiln Gallery,
  • Northcote Pottery, Thornbury, May – June 2005.
  • Castlemaine State Festival Visual Arts Exhibition, Old Castlemaine Gaol, Castlemaine, April 2005.

AWARDS
• Jetset/Telstra Countrywide Studyarts Australia Award (La Trobe University Bendigo, 2005).
• Pat Emery Award (‘Poised’ Exhibition, 2005)
• Northcote Pottery Award (‘Final Folio Exhibition’, 2004)
• Tin Shed Arts Award (‘Final Folio Exhibition’, 2004)
• Highly Commended Prize for Ceramics (‘Bendigo Student Association Art Exhibition’, 2004)

GRANTS
• Professional Development/Research Fund Grant for field trip
• Faculty Grant (AUD 5000) for overseas research trip.

RESIDENCIES

  • La Trobe University Visual Art Centre,Bendigo, Pop-Up Studio, July 27 – 25 August 2013.

CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE

  • 2022, ‘Apmere Mparntwe’, 16th Australian Ceramics Triennale, Mparntwe/Alice Springs, NT, 19 – 23 July
  • 2019 ‘Holding Space, Making Place’, 15th Australian Ceramics Triennale, Hobart, TAS,  1- 4 May
  • 2018 ‘Clay Gulgong’, Gulgong, NSW, 18 – 24 April
  • 2013 ‘Clay Push’, 9th International Ceramics Conference, Gulgong, NSW, 28 April – 4 May
  • 2012 ‘Subversive Clay’, 13th National Ceramics Conference, Adelaide, S.A., 28 September – 1 October
  • 2008 ‘Sturt Woodfire’,
18th – 21st April
  • 2007 ‘Clay Edge 2007’, International Ceramics Conference, Gulgong, NSW, 15 – 21 April
  • 2006 ‘Verge’- 11th National Ceramics Conference, Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane, QLD, 10 – 14 July
  • 2005 ’99.9 % Salt-free’ 1st Australian National Soda Glaze Conference. ANU School of Art, Canberra ACT, 23 – 25 September
    Ceramic Woodfiring Conference, Gundaroo NSW, 22 – 25 April.
  • 2004 Clay Modern Ceramic Conference, Gulgong NSW, 02 – 08 May.

SELECTED MEDIA PRESENCE

  • Printz, J. (2013). Look who’s popped in. [Radio program] ABC Central Victoria. Available from http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2013/08/20/3829483.htm
  • PROmotion. (2011). 35 contemporary Australian ceramicists facilitated by The Journal of Australian Ceramics [Blog]. Available from http://www.jacpromotion2011.com/
  • Vanhees, M. (2009). More than Skin-Deep: Embodiment of the Felt Sense. An Exegesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, School of Visual Arts and Design, La Trobe University.
  • Vanhees, M., ‘A Sense of Belonging: The Work of Maria Vanhees’, in The Journal of Australian Ceramics, 46, no. 3 (2007), 26 – 28.
  • Web, Penny, Immediacy of Mutant Beauty, The Age, Friday ,May 5, 2006.
  • Hayward, Felicity, Feat of Clay, The Advertiser, Thursday, May 11, 2006.

REPRESENTATION IN COLLECTIONS
La Trobe University, Bendigo
Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo.
Fuping ICMEA Gallery, China.
Private Collections in Australia and Belgium.

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