Keiko Matsui, a ceramicist born in Japan but based on NSW’s Central Coast, has decided to focus on a particular style of work this year. It is embodied in her latest “scar” series. “The jointed parts can be seen as a wound or scar, which alludes to the fragility of our being,” she says. Keiko creates her ceramic pieces at the potter’s wheel and then works on them by hand to customise each piece. Since graduating from the National Art School in Sydney with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) in 2006, she has exhibited many times and been awarded prizes, including the Gosford Art Prize in Ceramics in 2014 and 2012. Keiko will be exhibiting as part of a group show for the Australian Ceramic Triennale 2015 at Beaver Gallery in July. Some of her pieces are available at Small Spaces in Sydney's Redfern.

Which five words best describe you? I am a simple person.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I wonder whether I can call my current situation a career. All I can say is I am living my passion.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To learn from my mistakes, not only in my ceramic practise, but also in life. This means I have the opportunity to learn a lot.

What’s your proudest career achievement? It’s more a personal achievement, however, I am proud of my commitment to my work. I returned to my studio three weeks after a complicated birth with my son. Continuing to work under any circumstance has meant I have practised my art almost every day since graduating from the National Art School. 

What’s been your best decision? To be with my partner. 

Who inspires you? People who are chasing their dreams. Those who help others and are contributing to the world.

What are you passionate about? To observe the growth of my three-year-old son. 

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? If reincarnation does exist, I want to meet ex-me. I often wonder why I am here and what determines the choices I make.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? To continue making pots until the day I die – this is my dream but it may become reality as I am determined to do it. The real dream is to help people or give something to the world through my ceramics. Either through teaching, passing on my knowledge, or simply through enabling others to experience joy and contentment through my work.

What are you reading? Noah’s ark, with my son. Every night.

images courtesy of keiko matsui; photography (top to bottom) steve cummings, greg piper, slava pereg, greg piper, slava pereg

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