Fiona Hiscock

Photography by Chris Sanders

Fiona Hiscock is a Melbourne-based ceramicist well known for her practice of hand building and painting large coiled vessels that reference utilitarian objects. Her imagery is inspired by botanical illustration, as a keen observer of nature she makes detailed paintings of plant specimens that inform her ceramic practice. Fiona’s interest is in the environment and she is currently working with native species found predominantly in coastal areas.

“I spend as much time as I can in the natural world. I walk, camp and observe particular trees of interest to me, and the birds and insects that live within the confines of a particular species. Referencing the botanical illustration tradition, I attempt to depict the life cycle of the plant including the bud, flower, birds and occasional pollinating insect to provide a sense of the overall habitat. I paint directly onto the clay with a variety of stains, ochres and pigments, many of which are mixed by hand.

Most recently, I have depicted plants in parks that are local to where I live and the increasing number of birds that seem to have puffed out their feathers during this Covid-19 time of cleaner air and a quieter landscape. I feel it is extremely important for me as an artist to paint the Australian environment and highlight it’s beauty and value at a time when it seems increasingly under threat from land clearing, drought and fire.”

Fiona is a graduate of Fine Art History at Melbourne University (1986) and Fine Art Ceramics (Honors) at RMIT (1991). She has held over 12 solo exhibitions and in 2022 was awarded the Muswellbrook Prize for ceramics. Her works are represented in numerous public collections such as Parliament House, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery and Gold Coast City Art Gallery.

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