Katerina Smoldyreva's Whanganui exhibition Catharsis at Gallery 85 in Glasgow St is arresting.
The first impression is a mass of human figures in various stages of torment and it takes a few moments to notice that some of her ceramic figures are not in distress.
All the figures are modelled from stoneware clay coloured with stains, oxides and gold leaf coated with clear glazes.
They are classical figures, imbued with the artist's adaptations, telling stories of world mythologies, religions, ballets and theatre.
"It is all about heightened emotions which lead to catharsis and the release of emotions," says the artist.
There are 100 small figures or sketches all mounted on wood and each one was created in one day last year as Smoldyreva joined the 100 days creative project.
Smoldyreva is from Ufa, the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan in southern Russia, and her world travels have inspired her work.
Her work she says, is her way of attempting to "blend the unblendable" in a search for new expressions.
The artist has taken inspiration from a range of sources such as Greek tragedy, Japanese Shinto beliefs or Commedia dell'Arte masks, and some figures are one of a series on the same theme.
Some of the larger works feature two figures or groups such as Ship of Fools - based on the Hieronymus Bosch painting but with female rather than male figures.
Chorus is a group of five wailing female figures and a single figure named Haal is an incomplete torso.
Smoldyreva says clay is like skin and sculpting is something she finds very hard to live without.
She currently lives in New Plymouth where she is a curator at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and a teacher of ceramic sculpture.
Catharsis — A show of new ceramic works by Katerina Smoldyreva. 85 Glasgow St. Gallery hours 12pm to 4pm Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and 10am to 1pm on Saturday.