Yasmin Smith (b. 1984, Sydney/Darug Country, l. Sydney/Darug Country) works with ceramic and glaze technologies, producing large-scale sculptural installations that investigate particular sites via extensive field research, community collaboration and studio development. Her practice brings scientific and artistic concerns together to allow ecological forms of intelligence to be expressed through aesthetic outcomes in ceramic glazes.

The artist researches the history of a site where she collects samples of plant materials. Cast ceramic replicas of plants and plant-related forms are made before burning the original wood to create ash glazes for the sculptures. The colours and textures that emerge in her wood ash glazes reveal what the plant absorbed in its lifetime and through this the ecological and human history of the site—the elements present in the water, soil, and air are absorbed over time and are retained by the plant as a form of memory or archive. Smith also works with rock, coal, salt and wild clay in her expanded material investigations that involve an ongoing conceptual interrogation of labour, extraction, colonisation and political ecology. Smith’s queer identity and (maternal) Sri Lankan heritage underpin her projects, in particular around questions of global power structures and exploitation.

Smith’s 2022 solo exhibition, Forest, at The Commercial, was the realisation of a four-year investigation into coal fly ash glazes sourced from eleven coal-fired power stations around Australia, creating a deep geological timeline.

Yasmin Smith together with curator Kathryn Weir was one of five artist/curator teams shortlisted to represent Australia in the 2024 Venice Biennale based on the advice of a panel of independent industry advisors including national and international visual arts experts.
Yasmin Smith has exhibited in the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial, the 21st Biennale of Sydney, the 2021 TarraWarra Biennial as well as at Centre Pompidou (Paris), Mao Jihong Arts Foundation (Chengdu), Museo Madre (Naples), Parco Are Vivente (Turin), Monash University Art Museum (Melbourne), Queensland University of Technology Art Museum (Brisbane) and the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney).

Her work is in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), Artbank, Melbourne University (Melbourne), Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (Sydney), National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), Powerhouse Museum (Sydney), Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (Brisbane) and Shepparton Art Museum (Shepparton).

Smith completed her Master of Visual Arts (Ceramics) at Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney in 2010.

In 2023, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney, is presenting a solo exhibition by Smith, accompanied by the artist's first monographic publication.

Yasmin Smith is a recipient of the 2024 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship.



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