Eigenleben, the new exhibition from Whanganui ceramic artist Andrea du Chatenier, is currently on display at Sarjeant on the Quay.
Du Chatenier said the exhibition was made up of works from her 2018 residency at the Vermont Studio Centre in Vermont, USA, and pieces she completed in her Aramoho studio during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
"It is really nice to have my own studio here, and in Whanganui there's such a wonderful creative climate for making things," du Chatenier said.
"While I was overseas, just the whole of idea of what Whanganui stood for made people very envious of this fabulous little town."
Du Chatenier said the works she made during lockdown had a "certain anxiety to them".
"There's a vulnerability, in terms of the clay, that I'm interested in.
"Things like the skewers in the works (Pierced Stone), they really are about how clay comes together and how you can secure parts."
"I think they also feel anxious because they are precarious, and it looks like they're ready to fall apart, even though they won't.
"They're in a state of just-thereness, and balls can roll, things can fall, and the skewers are held by gravity."
Pierced Stone, which features in the centre of the Eigenleben exhibition, came together quickly, du Chatenier said, while its sister piece, Sunset, had to be made "four or five times".
"Sometimes it collapsed, and it was made in two parts so sometimes they weren't similar enough."
Du Chatenier said she had been building towards her Eigenleben exhibition for a number of years, and that the works were the product of the "investigations and experimentations" she was doing at her residencies in both the USA and Denmark.
"Americans are really enthusiastic about stuff, and they were so effluvious about my work, it just blew me away.
"In a place like New York there is an absolute belief in art, and it's lovely for artists to be there and be able to say 'this is my value system, and this thing that I'm nuts about and spend all this money and time on is valuable'.
"The work I did in Denmark stayed in Denmark, and yet some of those ideas came back and I created some more work back in New Zealand.
"In America I had to work smaller so I could ship things back, but there's something about working small that I really got off on, and I did a whole lot of these little works."
Du Chatenier said larger pieces a lot of "long term planning and investment", with a work like Sunset taking up to six weeks to complete.
"When I make my work I listen to talking books, and so there are always stories happening in the background of all my works.
"If my inspiration fails and I have a talking book going then I'm going to go back into the studio and tackle some hard issues, just so I can listen to the next bit of the story.
"I'm only allowed to listen to talking books in my studio."
Andrea du Chatenier's Eigenleben exhibition at Sarjeant on the Quay (36 Taupo Quay) will run until November 8.