Trouble Sleeping, No Trouble Dreaming

Ceramics and paintings by Yasmin Dubrau and Scott Brough
Homebase Collections, 5 Balquidder Road, Hospital Hill, Napier
By Megan Seawright

The sunlight is bright, though on the turn, and, being autumn, colours are changing. I arrived into a small cul de sac road surrounded by established homes and garden, and into Homebase, a fresh studio space owned by Leanne Culy who is exhibiting the works of Yasmin Dubrau and Scott Brough.

Homebase collections recently moved their downtown store into a residential location. It’s a   divergence from the usual retail shopping experience that leads towards a fluid use of space, with a vision that can stretch into events, purchasing and exhibitions via a more intimate experience of ambience and residential urban design. Increasingly people are opting for home-based workplaces, and this is clearly in-keeping with Homebase’s purpose of emphasising contemporary design, art and objects close to home.

And as I wander quietly into the studio, I am met with the warmer details of home and space. There is both a subtlety and certainty to Scott Brough’s ceramics. These domestic objects are purposeful vessels, teapots, bowls and dishes. However, the most visible energy is in the muted palette (inspired from the Korean Buncheong pottery tradition), with its resonance to earthen hues and slight polished gloss. The objects hold the remains of making, like the occasional thumb print. All have markings, scratched and filled, and are a raw handwriting ode to letters themselves. Each are worked by a natural give away to process and remain as close to the earth as possible.  Scott himself says, “I have tried to only ask how I could work in a way that is truer to my own character”.  Any diversions from the stock standard ‘perfect’ form are carefully considered and intended to embody the perfection of clay itself – a malleable earth, a soft slip prone to multiple transformations.  Scott has rendered each object with a fine technique, each vessel is light to lift and to hold, and somehow the fragility remains entirely and strongly utilitarian.                     

Yasmin Dubrau’s watercolour paintings are a playful pairing with Scott’s works. There are bright colours, washes and bleeds across paper. Here the idea of dreaming is most apparent. Each scene, frequently imagined, is lush with leaf and small bird characters. All with an aura feel, a suspension of time, and a bit of magic and story. These not-quite-real geographies are enclosed at an intimate scale. Particular works, like the ‘Birds Picnic’, lingered with me, leading me into a dense yet light-filled leafy surround, where my own imagination wandered beyond the frame and out the window into the real immediacy of trees.  In a way the works are dealing with elemental energies, like those invisible wee life dancers about us.                                                                                                              

The viewing over, out I walk down the drive and back to the car. I felt like my own sense of ‘home’ had received a boost – that of beauty and time given from Scott – with his tea, and ‘c’ for ‘cloud’ cups and the Homebase experience itself. I drove on, noting along the way the tiding ebb of the leaves on the trees and the Hawke’s Bay hills set with reclining greens, like potters and painters…geographies and dreamings.

Follow them on Instagram: @scottbroughpottery   and   @hombasecollections

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