Balancing Act (installation)

slip-cast ceramic, cotton cord, and 8 min acrobatic projected film with accompanying audio track


Acrobatic Cerámica 2021 moving image, acompaning, 8 min

XO 2021 slip-cast ceramic, cotton cord, cardboard and duct tape (22cm x 40cm x 40cm)


Balancing Act is an installation that integrates Sam’s two passions; art and acrobatics. Physically similar to the way two acrobats must find equilibrium when performing, his sculpture XO finds balance upon a ball of cotton cord. Ceramic crafts and circus arts both share a history that extends culturally to ancient greece. Although having these shared histories, the ephemeral nature of performance and the eternal physical property of ceramic become the subject of manipulation in the relationship between Acrobatic Ceramica and XO. 


Sam wanted to publicly recognise the difficult negotiation between these two career pathways and the long hours that is required by both to progress the skill needed at a professional level. “Uniting them in this exhibition and having my vision realised I am looking forward to continuing to integrate circus and visual art together. Thank you to those that helped make it happen!”



Moving Image

Gauge: Our Intertwined Tether

colour video, sound, 9 min

Rope, thread and yarn are materials whose fundamental characteristics are the same. The only physical disparity is the gauge of the cord. However, society determines their gendered value. Through a historical lens of gender binary associations rope is masculine, thread and yarn are feminine.
The work Gauge: Our Intertwined Tether is about subverting the societal need to categorise. The rope, thread and yarn have been intertwined and joined into a single cord, with the threads being used regardless of what gendered role you might expect from the material itself. Deeply personal, intimate and vulnerable moments have been created with this piece. Sharing the childhood interest of knitting and embracing traits of femininity and masculinity Sam continues to pursue the message of, when given the chance we can transcend our limitations to freedom.

Audio composition: Frank Giles 

Filming, lighting, colour & editing: Tim Carlier & Sam Twidale

Mentor: Ida Sophia

Supported by Dance Hub SA


Acrobatic Cerámica

colour video, sound, 8 min

A frequently used platform for what we would now consider a circus performance, Xenophon’s Symposium, gave a first-hand account of a girl performing a juggling act upon a pottery wheel in 360BC. This history only became apparent to Sam following the creative developments and filming of this performance. It is the artist’s belief that Acrobatic Cerámica captures acrobatics upon a ceramics wheel in what is likely the first time a performance of this nature has been digitally filmed.

Song by Felix Laband (with artists permission)


Artist | Acrobat

is a captivating multidisciplinary art performance that seamlessly blends the ceramic sculptures of Sam Matthewman, a talented artist and performer, with the mesmerizing juggling and circus skills of Emily Loe. 

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