Marea Gazzard was a sculptor in clay and bronze. After training in ceramics, she studied sculpture with Lyndon Dadswell and had her first solo exhibition in 1963. She began casting in bronze in 1969 and executed major commissions for the Art Gallery NSW, Parliament House, Canberra and elsewhere. She was also one of the principal founders of the Crafts Council of Australia and the former president of the World Craft Council.
“Marea Gazzard had presence. She was much admired for her great dignity and humanity which could bring out the best in other people, yet she never flagged in the pursuit of excellence which she brought to her own exceptional body of work. The timeless, elemental quality of this work marks her as one of Australia’s most important sculptors.” – Christine France, November 30, 2013
Marea Gazzard studied at the London Central School of Arts and Crafts in the 1950s, where she formed a deep friendship with Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, cementing her interest in European modernism. Returning to Australia, she studied sculpture under Lyndon Dadswell at East Sydney Technical College.
In 1963 Gazzard held her first solo exhibition in Sydney. She exhibited widely throughout her career. Notable exhibitions include the landmark 'Clay + Fibre’ exhibition with Mona Hessing at the National Gallery of Victoria, as well as 'Form and Clay’,the 1994 survey of her sculpture at the S.H. Irvin Gallery, with an accompanying monograph by Christine France.
Gazzard has also completed a number of important commissions. In 1988 she installed a commission for the Executive Court of our Parliament in Canberra, a large bronze piece named “Mingarri: The Little Olgas”, which references the iconic Ayers Rock at the heart of Australia. In 2004, she completed 'Bindu’ for the Olympic Games in Athens.
In addition to her career as an artist, Gazzard was pivotal in the international Arts and Crafts movement, and in 1980 she became the first elected president of the World Crafts Council.
Gazzard’s work is now included in all of our major public collections.