Artist Statement

Gabriella Rhodes is an artist/craftsperson living and working on the Llŷn Peninsula, North Wales. She refers to her practice as being land-based, in that it is rooted in artistic research, materiality and the environment. Over the past three years, she has shifted from a ceramic art practice that relied on hard-to-trace commercial clays and glazes, to a low-carbon and site-specific craft practice heavily influenced by the principles of vernacular architecture and earth-building traditions of Wales and the wider UK. She now makes sculptural objects from local and abundantly available materials, predominantly clay-rich soils, that she forages or is gifted to her as ‘waste’ from cross-sector collaborations with local industries that participate in land extraction.

Making is often combined with examinations of geological maps, walking/observing the landscape, mark-making and researching historic land use to build a holistic picture of the materials and their relationship to the place she lives. Through her work, she hopes to invite reflection on the value we currently place on earthly matter and the role material circularity has in contemporary craft and the current ecological discourse whilst highlighting the interconnected existence we share with the more-than-human world.

Artist Bio

Gabriella Rhodes (b. 1993, Stoke-on-Trent) graduated from Manchester School of Art in 2018 with a BA (Hons) in Three-Dimensional Design. Since graduating, her practice has evolved to deepen her understanding of the intersection between art and ecology. She has exhibited nationally, most recently in group exhibitions with Wondering People at Nunnery Gallery, London and in the Artistiaid Ifainc Cymru 2023 exhibition at MOMA Machynlleth. She has facilitated clay-based workshops for children and adults with arts organisations including The Good Life Society, British Ceramics Biennial, Manchester Craft and Design Centre and Plas Glyn y Weddw. She is the recipient of grants and residencies with Guldagergaad Ceramic Research Centre (Denmark), A-B Projects (Los Angeles) and received funding in 2023 from the Arts Council of Wales to attend the Natural Building Festival in Estonia to develop her technical understanding of working with clay plasters and natural finishes and to participate in the wider discussions around ecological construction practices and the principles of circular economies.


2024 Soil Geology: Body of Soil, The Soil Keepers, Online
2024 Soil as Art: Elegy and Revival, Swiss Institute New York, Online
2023 Ochre Practices with Heidi Gustafson, Online
2023 Artistry in Clay and Lime, West Wales
2023 Natural Building Festival, Estonia
2022 Clay Plastering, School of Natural Building, Anglesey
2020 Level 3 Award in Education and Training, National Open College Network
2015-2018, BA Three-Dimensional Design, Manchester Metropolitan University

2024 (upcoming) Ynys Enlli Artist Residency
2024 HANDS, 8 Holland Street / Wondering People, London Craft Week 2024
2024 EARTHING, Haeckels, London Craft Week 2024
2023 Agored/Open 2023, Galeri Caernarfon, Caernarfon
2023 Artistiaid Ifainc Cymru (Young Welsh Artists), MOMA Machynlleth
2023 Nunnery Gallery, Wondering People, London
2023 Summer Exhibition, Plas Glyn y Weddw, Pwllheli
2023 Pererindod, Oriel Carn, Caernarfon
2023 Benywaidd, Oriel Carn, Caernarfon
2022/23 Winter Exhibition, Thrown Gallery, London
2020 Breaking Ground, part of Crafting Futures, British Ceramics Biennial and British Council, Stoke-on-Trent
2020 Clay in Residence, AIR Gallery, Manchester
2018 Project Network, Guldagergaad Ceramic Research Centre, Denmark

2024 (upcoming) Soils workshop with curator Sophie Boobyer/Van Abbemuseum, Dutch Design Week
2024 (upcoming) Polished Soil Ball Workshop, Ynys Enlli
2023 Commission – A Symbiotic Clay Environment: a journey through the meaning-making possibilities with Dena Bagi MA, AFHEA, Aalto University, Finland
2023 Sculptural Earth Bowls, Plas Glyn Y Weddw, Llanbedrog
2023 An Introduction to Smoke Firing Workshop, The Good Life Society, Wales
2023 Sculptural Earth Bowls Workshop, Ground Workshops, Stoke-on-Trent
2021 Commission – Clarification through Clay: Visualising Meaning-Making, Dena Bagi MA, AFHEA and The University of Sunderland
2020 Stoke-on-Trent Open Weekend Workshop, British Ceramics Biennial, Stoke-on-Trent
2020 In-between Marks Workshop, AIR Gallery, Manchester
2019 Commission - The Clay Quarter, British Ceramics Biennial 2019, Stoke-on-Trent

2023 International Opportunities Fund, Arts Council of Wales
2023 New Wave Scholarship, A-B Projects, Los Angeles
2021 & 2020 Freelancer Fund, Cyngor Gwynedd Council, Wales Cultural Recovery Fund
2018 Solo Exhibition Award, AIR Gallery, Manchester
2018 Graduate Award, Manchester Craft and Design Centre

2023 Country Living, February Issue
2022 Red Magazine, December Issue

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