Ebony Russell

Ebony Russell is a sculptural artist living and working on Gadigal land.

Ebony Russell uses an unorthodox approach to construct ceramic sculptures. Her unique technique was developed out of an interest in gendered aesthetics, labour, and traditional craft practices where Russell methodically pipes porcelain in a series of intricate layers to build gravity-defying forms. Challenging the traditional making processes of decorative vessels; in her works, the decoration becomes the structure, and the boundaries between the two are erased. Exploring established perceptions of cultural and artistic practices that were once exclusively coded as feminine and thus insignificant, Russell’s work celebrates the decorative, promiscuous aesthetics and politics of purity; the superficial, excess, and delight – with pleasure.

Russell is showing as part of three person show Teetering on the Brink: Femininity, Inheritance and Disaster which opens at Claire Oliver Gallery New York on 15 March 2024 and continues until 11 May 2024. Major exhibitions include Young Masters Art Prize, London 2023, 1001 Remarkable Objects The Powerhouse Museum Sydney 2023, Think Pinker, Gavlak Gallery Los Angeles 2023, SABOTAJE ESTEìTICO, Yusto Giner Gallery Spain 2022, Halcyon Days, Modern Eden Gallery San Francisco 2022, and Clay Dynasty The Powerhouse Museum 2022. Russell has won many awards including the Franz International Rising Star Award in 2018 and the Meroogal Women’s Art Prize, in 2022. More recently Russell received the Highly Commended Award in the International Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Art Prize, London.

She completed a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Honours) at Monash University in 2003 and in 2019 graduated from the National Art School Sydney with a Masters of Fine Art. 

In this interview, Russell talks to NAVA about the balance between making money and supporting a lifestyle but remaining true to your practice and artistry; the importance of accessing knowledge within your support network; and feeling joyful in making art that encompasses your true self and the audiences that draw to that. 


Video production by Atypical 2023.

Photo by Simon Hewson, Fatografi 2024.

ID: Portrait of Ebony Russell wearing a blue apron and sitting on a stool between three desks in her studio. She is surrounded by a number of decorative ceramic vases glazed in pastel colours, work tools, a large plant and a pink painting.