Connections, 2023

ceramic, cardboard, marine grade vanish, thread



In this sculptural work, we have explored the profound connection between our homes, families, and the invisible threads that bind us throughout our journey from birth to death. Comprising of a collection of small ceramic houses, this installation embodies the essence of these interconnected narratives. Each miniature dwelling serves as a vessel for stories and destinies, intricately crafted to symbolize the unique paths we tread. From birth to death, we are on a quest for connection and meaning. This installation invites you to contemplate the red thread of destiny that connects us all, leading us to the keys of freedom, happiness, and a life enriched by the beauty of our shared human experience.

About the Artist


Cabramatta High School is located on Cabrogal Dharug Land in western Sydney NSW.

Teachers: Belinda Kyprianou, Sandra Van Dyk, Bethaney Waters, Tan Nguyen

Students: Shaniya Bryce, Alen William Samaan Daabool, Lucia Dao, Andy Ho, Raisha Kalim, Mary Kelleher, Victoria Kennedy, Jacob Lam, Katie Lam, Quynh Le, Kim Ly, Tommy Ly, Quynh Nhu Mai, Lakena Mao, Lauren Martin, Justin Ngov, Danny Nguyen, Serina Nguyen, Thi Yen Lan Nguyen, Tymongkorl Pech, Justin Pham, Norma Piaggio, Cheynel San-Ream, Jullyya Sao, Sophie Tabuso, Daniel Tran, Annie Trinh, Angelina Truong, Xiao Long Yee, Diana Yousif, David Jalal Dawood Asman, Tran Duc Huy Bui, Yadda Marie Chio , Malinda Deng, Jayden Do, Daisy Duong, Khanh An Duong, William Heng, Lok Hin Ip, Summer Kendall, Joisephine Laione, Lily Le, Martin Luu, Anna Mai, Davina Mel, Jillianne Mesa, Andraws Mikho, Orsola Mittiga, Justin Nguyen, Jenny Nguyen, Linda Scott, Ashur Tammo, Pich Pisey Tem, Alicia Tran, Tommy Tran, Tamiya Tran, Tara Tran, Trong Nghia Tran, Bianca Vo Pham




My name is Kimba Lai. And my name is Julia Cao. We are year 10 art students at Cabramatta High School. Our artwork is called Connections. This artwork is a collaborative work involving two year 10 art classes and a total of 60 student works. We have each created a ceramic house based on our cultural background, our memories, desires, and connection to home.

There is a string that connects to each of the homes, flowing in and out of them, connecting them to one another and back to the tree, a symbol of life. The colour red in many Asian cultures is symbolic of luck, joy, happiness, celebration, mortality, and is also believed to ward off evil. Red is also universal in its symbolism for the colour of blood, love, and passion.

We have specifically chosen the colour red for the string as it represents all these things that tie us together in life. We have also decided to display our houses surrounded by the tree as a circle representing the cycle of life and death, and the special relationships of family and community. In between the houses are keys, keys that represent unlocking and opening of many significant moments in life.

A new car, a new house, a new chapter in one's life. Keys to one's happiness or freedom. We began by designing our keys, some with personalized symbols and others with intricate details. These were carefully cut out from cardboard and paper mache over the surface. Following from this, each student drew plans to design a house based on their memories of their homes, houses of their dreams, or houses that reflected their cultural background.

Each student then used hand building techniques to create their houses in clay. After the firing process, students completed their house by painting them using ceramic underglazes. From birth to death, we are tied to our families and homes. An invisible red thread connects us to the people we are destined to have in our lives.

This fine red thread leads us to the keys of freedom, happiness, and a fulfilling life. We hope that as the audience views our work, they are delighted by the colourful little houses and be reminded of the loving relationships they have experienced with families and friends. Those that I have passed on, and those they have shared life with presently.

We hope our work is a reminder of this cycle of life, to the connections we have with each other, and a love that is everlasting.