movie day: Sabbia Gallery Sydney presents Marissa Angapiya Thompson

Sabbia Gallery Sydney is pleased to present the first solo exhibition by APY artist Marissa Angapiya Thompson, titled ‘Panu Tatu ‘ Gum Trees’ from 27 May to 18 June 2022.

This sell out exhibition presents a beautiful body of new work in ceramics by the artist.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to hear from Marissa about her family, and her practice. She says:

My land is the desert plains. I used to do jewellery, I learned it from my grandmother (my father’s mother). She used to collect the tatgu (gum nut) and use hot wire to make it into jewellery. She was wearing it herself and sometimes it was for sale. I used to help her make it, she taught me and I learned it quick.

I learnt a lot of things from my Nana like wood carving, making little birds and lizards from punu (wood) that we collected from the creek. This is Anangu way. Now I use all that knowledge and I put it onto my ceramics.

My Aunty (father’s sister) was also a special lady. She taught me for bush medicine and we learn everything to do with bush fire and after the fire how to hunt for kuka (meat) like kangaroo. After bush fire there’s going to be new tjanpi (grass) and I do this in my artwork too.

I was lucky my Nana was still alive when I was growing up. She was a strong lady as she stayed out in the bush all the time. My father and my Aunty were ninty (clever) because they learn everything from her and then they teach it all to us kids too.

Marissa Angapiya Thompson, February 2022

Marissa was born in 1985 and grew up between her family’s homeland and Ernabella. She aended Kenmore Park Anangu School. Her father was an integral part of the APY Land Rights Movement, and her mother, Carlene Thompson is a former Ernabella Arts chairwoman and a senior Ernabella artist. Marissa has four sisters, three of whom are also practising artists at the art centre. She has two young children with her partner.

Marissa completed her first painting at Ernabella Arts in 2007 and her first ceramic work in 2009. She was an integral part of the first two workshops at Ernabella of the Indigenous Jewellery Project. Her jewellery work incorporates resin, traditional timber carvings and designs cast in silver. Her jewellery was exhibited at the Jam Factory as part of the Tarnanthi Festival in 2015.

Marissa’s artistic style in both ceramics and painting is incredibly precise. Her work often depicts tatgu (gumnuts), kurparu (magpies), tjanpi (grass) and sometimes branches out into minyma inma (womens ceremony), tadpoles, the rainbow serpent and maku (witchetty grubs). Marissa is also a skilled ceramic hand builder.

Marissa’s ceramics continue to be exhibited throughout Australia and overseas including Belgium and Macau in 2021.

job posting: Educational Art Technician, Ceramics

The Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts) is looking for a skilled and experienced Educational Art Technician, Ceramics to provide excellent studio support for faculty and guidance to students of the School of Craft & Emerging Media.

This is a permanent full-time position starting September 2022. Hours of work are 35 hours per week.

Why AUArts?  Alberta University of the Arts rests on the traditional Treaty 7 Territories of the Blackfoot people and in the spirit of our collective effort to promote reconciliation, we acknowledge the traditional territories and oral practices of the Blackfoot Confederacy, which includes Siksika, Piikani and Kainai, the Tsuut’ina, the Stoney Nakoda First Nations (Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley), Metis Nation Region III, and all those who make their homes in the Treaty 7 Region of Southern Alberta. AUArts is a community of thinkers, shapers, makers and risk takers. We are students, faculty, staff and alumni rich in diversity of culture and thought, challenged to fearlessly explore what moves us, drives us, and implores us to see the world differently.

The Alberta University of the Arts offers its 1,100 students studio-based programming that leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts in one of nine disciplines, a Bachelor of Design in one of two, and an MFA in Craft Media. It has deep roots in Calgary’s creative community and will soon be celebrating its centennial.

The Opportunity (Competition #2122-JU-AP-32)

Reporting to the Studio Manager, the Educational Art Technician (EAT), Ceramics provides support to the School of Craft & Emerging Media through general supervision oversight of the studio facility, equipment, processes, tools, and materials to ensure both safe and effective instructional support during class time and to ensure adherence to standard operating practices to support student studio practice during general facility access hours.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Conducts demonstrations, training and orientation for faculty, students and staff on standard operating practices for the uses of equipment, processes and materials handling, including daily clean-up and equipment/materials storage.
  • Monitors and oversees shop, studio and home studio spaces and advises on safe and appropriate practices and etiquette for all facility users including daily clean-up and equipment and materials storage.
  • Advises students with respect to program-related technology, equipment, processes and materials to meet curricular objectives.
  • Works in consultation with colleagues to maintain current documentation of standard operating procedures, studio etiquette respecting the University’s health and safety policy and program and ensuring quality student and instructional experience.
  • Under the direction of the Manager, provides scheduling, training and supervision support to casual and student employees.
  • Provides training and orientation for non-credit instructors as required.
  • Maintains open studio hours to provide students with access and support for studio processes either under general supervision or by appointment as required.
  • Monitors inventory and coordinates purchases of equipment, tools, materials and supplies through operating and capital budgets.
  • Provides guidance and support for the installation of student work for end of semester critiques, exhibitions and institutional events.
  • In consultation with faculty, researches and maintains currency in processes, equipment and materials to complement instruction, meets occupational health and safety requirements, designs and constructs equipment for application as required, and maintains program technology in coordination with Computer and Technical Services and maintains software currency as required.

The successful candidate will have: 

  • Minimum 4-year Diploma or Baccalaureate Degree in fine art or design with a relevant subject area specialization. 
  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience as a practicing artist or technician, with knowledge of relevant studio practices and experience in training students. 
  • Demonstrated proficiency with ceramic technologies, including 3D modelling printing and decal printing.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with electric and gas kiln operation (reduction, oxidation and soda), hand building and wheel techniques, glaze technology, studio and equipment maintenance, clay reconditioning, slip casting, and mold making
  • Experience with wood and metal fabrication.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office, Rhino and Adobe Creative Suite applications.
  • Current First Aid certification is an asset.
  • Excellent communication skills with ability to provide constructive support, guidance and mentorship to students, faculty and staff.
  • Excellent organization and planning skills, meeting multiple deadlines and commitments. 

This position works in a studio environment which includes contact with hazardous materials, equipment and resulting dust and noise. Heavy lifting of up to 50lb of material is required occasionally. Personal protective equipment is required for operation of certain equipment and processes. 

As a member of the AUPE bargaining unit (Local 071/006), this regular full-time position falls under a classification seven (7). The starting annual salary is $59,836 – $66,336 dependent upon skills, education and experience. 

How to Apply

Applications must include the following in a SINGLE PDF DOCUMENT:

  • Cover Letter
  • Curriculum Vitae / Resume

Please upload your single document to the “Resume” section – do not upload any documents to the “Cover Letter” section. You will be required to create an account in order to submit your application. Please visit our How to Apply page to ensure your application is complete prior to submission. 

Applications will be accepted until July 1, 2022 with interviews to be held in late August. While we thank all candidates for their interest, only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Further information about AUArts is available on our website at

AUArts is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all University Community Members while on campus. For specific information and updates please visit our website.

AUArts is an equal opportunity employer and is strongly committed to fostering diversity within our community. We welcome those who would contribute to the further diversity of the university. We encourage expressions of interest from all qualified applicants for consideration for this or other suitable vacancies although applications from Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

The collection of personal information is for the purpose of determining eligibility and suitability for employment as authorized by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act, section 33(c). If you have any questions about the collection of your information, please contact our FOIP Coordinator at [email protected].