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Ashleigh Christelis


Paper clay porcelain, cone 9, red enamel, wooden base



A portion of sales price goes to We Are Not Invisible


Bipolar Disorder and Rheumatoid Arthritis are the chronic illnesses that I live with, they reside in me like time bombs. My illnesses are an intrinsic part of my physical, mental, spiritual and emotional life.  Primarily I am a thrower but the rheumatism has crept into my hands and throwing can be painful, hence the development of these sculptures.The coiling of the forms which represent bandages allows me to leave spaces, these spaces can be seen as disfigurement; wounds; emptiness; but my feeling with them is not necessarily that, for me they are open spaces for newness, rebirthing, learning, a space for new beginnings.

‘Balance’ represents the constant struggle I find myself in with these illnesses. Made from coiled ‘bandages’ that represent a healing taking place. The red ball that swings like a pendulum inside my head can be seen as the mood swings I encounter and take a daily awareness on my behalf to remain stable. The red ball in my chest reminds me to have contact with my heart, my intrinsic self, my soul.


I have been working with clay for the past 22 years. I studied as a full time apprentice to Kim Sacks in her studio for 4 years. I have been running my own teaching studios on and off for the past 18 years. I have 2 beautiful teenage sons and I live in Johannesburg.

insta: @ashleighchristelis

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