Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft \ Prue Venables

4 Dec 2021 –
23 Jan 2022


Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft \ Prue Venables presents an outstanding body of work by one of Australia’s greatest artists working in clay. Together, the works in this exhibition explore the significance of everyday objects through multiple sequences of forms in porcelain, incorporating additional elements in metal and wood. 

Prue Venables is the ninth artist in the Australian Design Centre series Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft, which celebrates the achievements of Australia’s most iconic crafts practitioners, their mastery of skill, their achievements, their contribution to Australian craft, and the unique place they occupy in the national design culture. 

Motivated by a particular interest in functional objects and a search for simplicity, quietness and an essential stillness, Prue makes objects that are pared back, serene and deceptively simple. She explains, ‘I enjoy the contradictory nature of the pieces, where the sprung tension of the throwing remains clear, but the origins of forms are uncertain.  Risks are high but failure only motivates me to try again’.  

Prue Venables demonstrates a profound understanding of porcelain, using a precious and extremely temperamental clay, with fine-grain and opaque qualities, to create handmade functional artworks that possess clarity, luminosity and a quiet beauty.

Image: Prue Venables, Betty’s Kitchen 2017, Image: Terence Bogue


Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft \ Prue Venables
Available at CAG Shop $35



Education Kit


Selected works



An Australian Design Centre (ADC on Tour) national touring exhibition, presented with assistance from the Australian Government Visions of Australia Program.




Cairns Art Gallery is housed in a Queensland Government Heritage building and will be following all Queensland Government mandates in regards to visitor restrictions.

At 80% double-dose vaccination, visitors aged 16 years and over will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or valid medical exemption to enter the Gallery, in line with the Chief Health Officer’s Directions.

From 17 December 2021, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required to enter the Gallery.

The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji and Yirrganydji as the Traditional Owners of the area today known as Cairns. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.