You need to get to know Brisbane artist Bonnie Hislop

This Brisbane ceramicist and artist is all about the cool, quirky and the colourful

bonnie hislop

MY BACKGROUND

I’m largely self-taught as an artist but have been drawing since I can remember. Growing up, I could keep myself occupied for hours with only a pen and paper. Ceramics was something I fell into by chance. When I was eight my mum took my sister and I to a ceramics painting class, which led to her ultimately establishing her own ceramics business, creating custom pieces and also teaching. By the time I was 13 years old our house had a kiln and a studio, with shelves of hand-poured clay homewares ready for painting and full of possibilities. The tools were there for me to play with, learn and explore – and I did.

By the time I was 18 years old, I was selling ceramic pendants and brooches at markets and a few boutiques. Over the last decade, I’ve also dabbled in illustration, painting, and leather work. I always come back to working with clay though.

brisbane ceramicist and artist

art workshop

I AM MOST INSPIRED BY…

My surroundings and the many talented creatives that I am lucky to call my friends. When I’m fully in the zone, I can get visually overwhelmed quite easily. Everyday objects inspire possible colour combinations for pieces – I once became entranced by the car lights in front of me while I was driving!

colourful ceramic bowls

bright cat cermaics

SOME OF MY FAVOURITE MATERIALS TO WORK WITH ARE…

Stoneware clay and colourful underglazes.

WORK OR PLAY, I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT…

Coffee and red wine, podcasts, lipstick, a good in-depth chat with a friend, and a home-cooked meal with my family (my sister makes the best healthy treats).

THREE WORDS THAT SUM UP MY AESTHETIC…

Playful. Colourful. Detailed.

playful ceramics

WHEN I’M IN FULL PROJECT MODE, MY DAY GOES LIKE…

I work part-time in an office three days a week. At the end of those days, I will usually come home, have a quick dinner and fit in a few more hours of work. Full studio days can be between 10 to 15 hours long. It’s exhausting, but as long as I’m giving each piece the time that it deserves, it’s enjoyable.

AND WHEN I’M DONE, MY IDEAL WEEKEND IS…

Somewhere far enough away from the studio that I’m not tempted to do work! My next getaway is to Tasmania, and I’m just a bit excited (ed’s note: at the time of writing Bonnie was setting off for Dark Mofo).

MY HOME AND ME…

I share my home (in the leafy suburb of Taringa, Brisbane) with a lovely housemate. We also share stories and wine.

cat ceramic

koala ceramic

MY FAVOURITE ROOM IS…

My studio, located in my garage. It has slowly evolved into a wonderful, creative cave with lots of inspiring pictures and artworks adorning the walls.

LOCAL LIFE AND STYLE…

I have three favourite cafes in Brisbane: The Burrow in West End for a chilled-out vibe and pizza, a glass of wine, or just to sit and draw or read; Abode in Taringa, the cutest cafe with the best coffee; and Shouk in Paddington for Middle Eastern-inspired dishes and beautiful views over the neighbourhood.

colourful brisbane ceramics

playful dog ceramics

CREATIVES I ADMIRE…

I’m obsessed with (Japanese installation artist) Yayoi Kusama and the exploration of the concept of infinity in her work.

THE MOTTO I LIKE (OR TRY!) TO LIVE BY…

“Work until your idols are your peers” is really driving me at the moment.


You can discover more about the talented Bonnie at her website. 

Photography by Rachael Baskerville