Fleurieu Peninsula ceramic artist Honor Freeman sees beauty and meaning in the most ordinary things.

Story Kate Le Galez  Photo Alex Beckett

It’s an unseasonably cool summer’s day, and Honor Freeman’s studio is unusually clean and tidy. Out the back of her home on the Fleurieu Peninsula, SA, her work table is as clear as her schedule – not only because it’s the holidays, but because Honor is currently free of the tyranny of deadlines. With the support of an Arts SA fellowship and for perhaps the first time in her 20-year career, she will have the security and space to play, experiment and extend her exploration of the unassuming artefacts of our everyday lives.

“There are equal parts excitement and trepidation for sure, hoping that something comes out of it,” Honor says, her words drifting off into a nervous chuckle. There’s excitement for the opportunity to make mistakes, knowing she has no one to please other than herself. “The material can really let you down in ceramics. You can have disasters at any point.” 

One such disaster sits propped against her studio wall. Like most of Honor’s work, it’s been created via slip casting, which sees liquid porcelain poured into a mould and then refined into a physical memory of the original object. As Honor explores this interplay between memory and meaning, fluidity and stasis, she contemplates the metaphorical power wrapped up in inanimate, everyday objects. 

In this case, the original object was a pillow. One pillow was successful and, rendered in pearlescent lustre, became part of Honor’s solo show Ebb in 2022, which explored rising and falling tides. “It was about tears and water. And there was a large pillow that I ended up placing on the floor that was kind of this idea of a tear-collecting object.” 

The show brought together a number of motifs that have echoed through Honor’s work over the years. There was the pile of worn and wearied soaps stacked on the side of a vintage enamel bath, a rolled flannel perched on the edge nearby. 


This story excerpt is from Issue #148

Outback Magazine: April/May 2023