Margaret Bray is a multi-disciplinary artist predominantly working with clay. A photographer, fossicker and finder of remnant treasure, Margaret refers to all manner of material and techniques in the production of functional pottery and sculpture.
‘My work explores cause and effect; I relate innately with my surroundings from the inner city to our deep NZ wilderness. I feel and explore the effects of change – this may be naturally occurring or the result of purposeful actions. I intend to preserve the delightfully serendipitous, seriously consequential, the dramatic spin-offs and the worthless cast offs, their relevancy grows as does my interest, my feeling of responsibility (which are tempered by realisations of lack of control) and strengthening emotional connection.
Nature above all is paramount – the activity, relief, pattern and texture, the dark side, the brutality. I am never failed to be amazed and fascinated at what nature provides for my own visual feast and experience.’
Margaret’s current work draws from many classical vessel forms. These are often decorated elaborately with carving and relief inspired by New Zealand’s native fauna and botanicals. From the unseen private life of the creatures high in our tree-tops, through to life underground.
Arthaus studio is Margaret’s base for the making process, firing methods then follow – Wood firing is her passion. She built her wood kiln in 2013 at her property south of Auckland. This 17 hour solo firing adds the final touches to her ceramic work… the path of the fire painting the clay with flame and ash. The results are never the same.
Margaret has gained selection and awards at various NZ wide ceramic and art exhibitions and was Designer of Auckland Studio Potters member exhibitions; Fire & Clay (Pah Homestead) and Nourish (Allpress Gallery) in 2018 and 2019. Margaret Curates and Designs the Claybenders group exhibitions (2012-2020). Solo Exhibitions include ‘Ponga & Pine’ at The Pool Room (ASP) and ‘Sing Cicada’ at Arthaus Contemporary (2019). In step with her own art direction, Margaret Bray’s work involves designing functional pieces for restaurants and cafes as well as interior and landscape design companies.