Presentation and Sgraffito workshop ANBG - 22 August 1:00 - 3:00pm

'Art and science: a vibrant art practice revolved around Canberra’s native plants’

Presentation and Sgraffito workshop

ANBG - 22 August 1:00 - 3:00pm

DATE: 22nd August, 2015


VENUE: Australian National Botanic Gardens Theatrette (behind the Visitors’ Centre)

TIME: 1.00 - 3.00pm

Cathy Franzi is a ceramic artist investigating ways in which representations of Australian flora on ceramic vessels can communicate ideas about the current environment. In her presentation she will outline the historical and botanical research she has undertaken throughout her PhD candidacy. The project developed from her curiosity about whether changing attitudes to Australia’s environment, from colonisation to the present time of unprecedented species decline, might be found reflected on historical and contemporary ceramic objects. She will describe, through examples of her work, how this interdisciplinary approach informed her studio practice.

Hands-on session afterwards

Cathy will lead a hands-on session exploring sgraffito, a technique she utilises to represent Australian plants on the clay surface. A wide range of mark making can be achieved by carving through a surface layer of colour into the clay body beneath.

Tiles and tools will be provided.


Cathy Franzi is a Canberra-based artist and PhD candidate in Visual Arts (Ceramics) at the School of Art at the ANU. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney and this background informs the botanical and environmental focus to her art practice.

In 2013, Canberra’s Centenary year, she undertook research into the partially realised plan of Walter and Marion Griffin to revegetate the hills of Canberra in single colour plantings of largely Australian flora, resulting in the exhibition Painting the Hills of Canberra. Her exhibition Islands & Corridors in June 2015 was the culmination of her research into the botanical significance of Canberra Nature Park.

Her work is held in public collections including Canberra Museum and Gallery, the ACT Legislative Assembly Art Collection and Manly Art Gallery and Museum.

Download pdf version here.