Yasmin Smith (b. 1984, Sydney) travels widely undertaking research for her archeological ceramics installations that explore the chemistry of glaze techniques to furnish material evidence of histories, ecologies, geology and culture. She makes her glazes from organic and inorganic material found on site with elements of the clay body sometimes also locally excavated as part of her process. Smith’s practice straddles art (ceramics) and more scientific investigations.
Artist Director Mami Kataoka has invited Smith to develop a site-specific work for the 21st Biennale of Sydney in 2018. Smith is one of the first 21 artists announced for the Biennale and one of three Australian artists on the preliminary list (the list includes Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Ai Weiwei, Brook Andrew, N.S. Harsha, Koji Ryui and George Tjungurrayi). Exhibition dates 16/03/18 - 11/06/18.
Smith is one of five artists shortlisted for the 2017 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award. The $ 50,000 prize will be announced at Shepparton Art Museum on June 17. Finalists are Glenn Barkley, Karen Black, Laith McGregor, Jenny Orchard and Yasmin Smith. The exhibition will comprise all new work commissioned for the award exhibition.
In 2016, Smith was invited to develop a project for the inaugural, outdoor Sculpture at Barangaroo, Sydney. The outcome was Contours of our heart, in which Sydney Sandstone dust was sourced from massive on site landscaping excavations to make clay and glazes for a two-week outdoor public engagement project. Smith built a kiln outdoors as part of this process-based work.
In 2014, Smith spent a month at Hermannsburg in Central Australia assisting the local community of potters on the Old Church Project. The project's aim was to create a ceramic replica of the old Lutheran mission church, an installation with soundscape, exploring the material culture of the mission period.
As a result of her time at Hermannsburg, Smith developed Ntaria Fence for a solo exhibition at The Commercial in 2015. Ntaria Fence was an archeological ceramics installation in which River Red Gum branches were collected on site and cast in a mid-fire slip and glazed with Hermannsburg wood ash glaze (River Red Gum, Mulga, Palm Tree) gathered from cooking fire pits from the same area. Branches were exhibited as part of a fence, replicating an actual fence in Ntaria around domestic dwellings.
Smith completed her Master of Visual Arts (Ceramics) at Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney in 2010. She was a director of the influential Sydney artist-run initiative, Locksmith Project from 2008 until 2010 (co-directors Rachel Fuller, Kenzie Larsen, Kenzee Patterson and Samuel Villabolos).
In 2010, she participated in the excavation of a site at Clunia, Penalba Del Castro in Spain.
Solo exhibitions include Ntaria Fence, The Commercial Gallery, Sydney (2015); Apprentice Welder, as part of Installation Contemporary, curated by Aaron Seeto for the inaugural Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Sydney (2013); Stone Skin, The Commercial Gallery, Sydney (2013); For the Promise of Water or Being Clean at Peloton, Sydney (2011); Boundary (with Kenzee Patterson) at MOP, Sydney (2011); For No Real Reason at Firstdraft, Sydney (2010) and If I Could Come Near Your Beauty With My Nails at Newspace Gallery, Sydney (2006).
Group exhibitions include Sculpture at Barangaroo, Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney (2016); MCA Artbar, curated by Nick Dorey and Hossein Ghaemi, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2014); Nocturnal Windows, curated by Ian Geraghty for the display windows of Gregory Boutique, Sydney (2014); Reality Considerations (for the sake of), curated by Eleanor Ivory Weber at 55 Sydenham Rd; Ceramica curated by Scott Donovan at the Institute of Contemporary Art Newtown, Sydney (both 2012); Everything’s Alright curated by Amanda Rowell at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney and Structural Integrity as part of the Next Wave Festival, Melbourne (both 2010).
In 2013, Smith was shortlisted for the 2013 Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists’ Travel Scholarship Prize, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney.
Her work is in the collection of Artbank.