A MINGEI PATTERNED SHIRT

For the sartorially challenged yet fiscally endowed wondering what on earth they can wear to the next Portage opening so as to stand out in the crowd…here is the perfect shirt! It’s on a male site (sent in by Finn) yet seems to button up the girl’s way so it’s ambidextrous as to gender.

One puzzlement though, those medieval jugs are European rather than Mingei. The Japanese did not use jugs traditionally, as far as I understand. Think it was Leach who appraised the Far East to their qualities but then, Hamada, as well as being a chair collector, may also have taken a few back with him when he returned from England in the early/mid-’1920s.  One thing is for sure, Yanagi – that old nationalist/imperialist would be considerably disturbed in his resting place to see them described as ‘Mingei‘.

But as Finn says… wonder which collection these are taken from?
For other views go to…

http://www.endclothing.com/catalog/product/view/id/214245/s/gitman-vintage-mingei-shirt/category/75/

11-07-2014_gitmanvintage_mingeishirt_beige_1

 

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photography and pots

For those wanting to add to knowledge about photographing an object or two (read pots) there is a workshop at Objectspace next Saturday.
While this this is with Polaroid, it is the lighting that needs to be learned. Lighting is the essence of making an intelligible entry for a competition like Portage or some off-shore competition, or the ASP annual for that matter. For a gold coin donation it is worth spending an hour or two.
Just remember that a Still Life is a construct and a judge/juror for a competition will need to clearly view profile. Just concentrate on the lighting techniques….

19 July 2pm-4pm
Object of still life. Artist Janet Lilo will help you make your own still life composition and capture the still life on film. You’ll be working with a Polaroid camera, creating photographs that you can take away with you as a keepsake. No need to book, just turn up on the day with a gold coin donation. Objectspace, Ponsonby, Auckland

If anyone attends – be pleased to have comments.

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TWO RECENT SHOWS

The Front Room is literally that and Brendan and Catherine Adams have made theirs into a fine space for displaying ceramics in suburban Point Chevalier. They don’t exhibit all the time as the gallery is principally a retail spot for their own work, but every so often they extend an invitation for an exhibition of some work they like and are happy to show.

This is the case for the current exhibition by Suzy Dunser. Called Constructed Memories it comprises a range of vessels for domestic use – teapots, pitchers and other pouring vessels, storage jars, bakers, but sadly, no coffee mugs. Based upon precedent forms constructed from metal sheet – oil cans, milk churns, buckets, tubs etc and carry the characteristics associated with those forms – wide, assertively looped strappy handles, generously broad or beaky pouring lips, extended, straight or curved spouts and articulations where metal would have been folded and joined. The forms are immediately familiar; not in a contemporary way but redolent with memories of Dad under the bonnet of the car in those pre-electronic everything days or washing being carried outside in a tin tub to a rotary clothes hoist near the lemon tree. It’s a show packed with nostalgia in a number of ways but principally for the haptic knowledge that those proportions and apparent construction arouse in the fingers. We know what those objects will feel like and how they will heft.

The elephant in the room here of course, is that this is territory that the UK’s Walter Keeler has explored in depth, developing his oeuvre over more than fifty years. He even sent some here as Fletcher entries in the ‘80s (wonder where they are these days?) Keeler’s were highly original and idiosyncratic objects of joints and junctions that moved British domestic ceramics away from the organic throwing associated with Bernard Leach and opened up new reserves, particularly historical, from which to draw whether those were metal forms from early-mid 20thC. or 18thC. industrial production by Staffordshire’s Thomas Wheildon. Keeler’s current production continues with both strands and even evidences an occasional cross-reference. The earthenware Wheildon pieces allow baroque extensions and lavish glaze effects but his equal devotion to articulation and the austerity of a strong form has meant those tin-sourced work’s surfaces have been largely restricted to fine salt glaze in sombre, and often uniform, slate greys, inky blues and warm browns.

Dunser’s forms extend and thrust straight upward, rather than the stately set-back upper part that many of Keeler’s pouring vessels carry where they seem to be rearing back almost and scrutinising the observer in return. Dunser’s forms however introduce a medley of surface not so evident with Keeler’s (which we here see mainly in reproduction of course). She saved work for this, her first solo show, for about a year and has experimented with surfaces to great effect using a variety of treatments: buff stoneware, or white stoneware and porcelain, with flashing slip, salt-fired in a diesel kiln; porcelain with flashing slip, wood and soda-fired; white stoneware and porcelain glazed and fired in an electric kiln and porcelain with copper carbonate wedged into the clay – some with partially glazed areas, wood and soda-fired. These have produced a range of surfaces beguiling in their diversity, and some perhaps unrepeatable. These ‘gifts of the kiln’ seem most in evidence when made from porcelain and soda- fired in a kiln carrying copper-bearing clays – the resultant fortuitous flashing animating vividly both smooth sides and odd joinings while the fluid glaze gathers on articulations producing further intensifications of colour.   Contrasting this, others offer an unrelieved white, salted surface that places all emphasis on form and demand the most sprightly configurations to be really effective.  Teapots are a potter’s recurrent challenge. Getting all elements – the body, lid, spout and handle – to visually work together and function well is demanding and Dunser has worked on the form for a while with some success. For this show she had the added hurdle of complying with her chosen parameters of forms based upon those of metal but it was teapots that were the original concept. As her statement explains, she spotted an oil-can and ‘it seemed like a teapot waiting to happen’, so she obliged. Most teapots in the show are a delight for she generally gets the necessary low centre of gravity spot-on so that they balance well when pouring. One or two carried a bit of extra weight that will be felt when full of hot fluid but the majority are both pleasing to the eye as well as filling functional requirements admirably, as the red stickers attested. Finding a good teapot is challenging and potters, who made up the majority of those at the opening, know a good one when they see one.  This is a confident and satisfying first exhibition with plenty to offer and we can look forward to the next gathering of her work and development of her oeuvre.

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CLAY CARPET The other exhibition of new work recently opened is also functional but this work’s function is to make bicycling or walking across one of west Auckland ’s new footbridges – this one is cross-motorway- a more engaging and enjoyable experience and succeeds admirably. Kate and Matt McLean have been working on this project, on and off, for some four and a half years. It was interrupted, after they had contracted for it, by the transition from Waitakere City to Auckland’s super city and the resultant change in bureaucracy and re-regulation of conditions meant a hiatus of some extended time. However, it’s now completed and what a great project it is! It is part of a series that has continued in West Auckland for a number of years. Virginia King, John Edgar and John Lyall have all made foot bridges in different locations around what used to be Waitakere City; it was one of the city’s successful periodic projects. There may be more I am unaware of and it’s not yet clear whether the new management processes for public arts that now prevail in the greater Auckland City will continue the projects. Kate and Matt’s is the furthest away but recognisably theirs as both bicycle everywhere and present as ferociously fit!  The forms they have made and decorated reflect their personal interests as well as their thoughtful study and groundwork. Taking a number of research trips by bicycle around the area Matt was struck when looking down at the motorway’s construction process where huge diggers and bull-dozers had laid bare long strips of the area’s massive deposits of pale clay, parts of which had tire tracks from the enormous earth moving machinery. Matt has previously made a pair of massive tiles that displayed rhythms of bicycle tracks across curved clay surfaces. Impressive and handsome at one and the same time, they reflected the personal and signified one of clay’s unique characteristics. These fine works received Commendation in the Fletcher Challenge Ceramic Awards and were subsequently bought for the collection of the Dowse Art Museum after Matt was subject of an extensive one-man survey exhibition there in 1997. The connection was there, as west Auckland’s earliest industry was manufacturing pipes and drainage tiles using the rich deposits of earthenware beneath its impoverished farming land.  Using the tyre imprints as recurrent motif Kate and Matt made impressions into a range of clays using a variety of tyres as well as retrieving sections of local clay that had been marked as part of the motorway excavation and building process. Beside the steps that climb to the bridge, the forms they made surge and billow their way down the hill. It’s rather like a rumpled up carpet near the bottom of some stairs. This ‘carpet’ is illustrated in ways that offer insights into the locality, as carpets historically have been used to impart narratives. The silk-screened imagery relates to the bridge’s location and function- maps and weather patterns, shadow patterns from bicycle wheels, telegraph poles and their linear suspensions. Installation has seen small gaps planted with erigeron (a type of daisy) that in time will clump, soften edges and reassert nature amongst the representations of the technical and man-made. On the bridge proper, on either side of the walking /bicycling section, are angled lines of tiles, less rugged than the forms enclosing the steps but still bearing textures and imagery relating to the uses to which the graceful, gloriously chrome-yellow bridge will be put.  A grand illustration for the expanded field that is possible in ceramics, it’s a unique and successful project; a work of ground art that required thoughtful considerations and processing of ideas. The scale suggests that space must have been an issue and require logical and probably uniquely individual answers to the variety of construction conundrums that occurred. Being the McLeans they were considered and resolved one-by-one although they could not see the project in its totality until all was finally installed. If you are out west one time and are on the Upper Harbour Motorway, you will drive beneath. But that way you’ll only see the flash of yellow bridge. So, head for Hobsonville and take a look at the footbridge at the end of Clark’s Lane, named for the family that first made pipes and drains for other farmers from what was their annoyingly unproductive, sticky sub-soil. It’s worth the very small effort and detour required and you can arrive there in your car – you don’t have to go on a bicycle!

 The Bridge

The Bridge

Matt installing tiles

Matt installing tiles

The tiles on the bridge

The tiles on the bridge

The tiles on the bridge

The tiles on the bridge

 Looking down the steps from entrance to the bridge

Looking down the steps from entrance to the bridge

More beside the steps

More beside the steps

And more…

And more…

details of forms

details of forms

details of forms

details of forms

 

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What’s on AT OBJECTSPACE and other stuff

Entering Objectspace last Friday, one could be forgiven for thinking a mistake had been made and instead you were in any old white cube downtown. Greeted by walls clustered together at angles at room’s centre, walking around revealed paintings, photography, etchings and prints by six artists, one of them Australian, but not an object except what was represented on a flat surface with four corners.

A quick return to the entrance so as to check, and reassurance is there in the small window gallery space that reveals Kate Fitzharris’s contemplative clay tableau of kneeling figure and chain of pearls in full three dimensions – of which more later. But yes, this was Objectspace.

Perhaps in advance defence of hoisted petards or to ward off slings and arrows, (to use a couple of handy aphorisms) Objectspace Director, Philip Clark, in his opening speech led by asking what the hell were wall images doing in that space and immediately followed such use with mention of a precedent exhibition some years earlier where images of jewellery in photography were mounted. We forgave them once. He continued by quoting from the gallery’s stated purpose ‘…to provoke new assessments about works and practices’ but where was the first part of that statement which positioned those works and practices ‘in the fields of craft, applied arts and design’?

Invited to open the exhibition, gallerist Anna Miles also remarked upon the ‘perturbing spectre that is an Objectspace emptied of objects’ and quoted from New York Times arts columnist, Roberta Smith who wrote, in a piece about an exhibition called Bringing the World Into the World at Queens Museum, about ‘curatorial and artistic fashions’ where works display ‘a disdain for aesthetic decision making’ and she drew contrasts with the aesthetic decision making she was accustomed to observing in Objectspace exhibitions. Miles might also have quoted from another part of that ‘stinging’ review where Smith wrote of the Queens’ show being an ‘intermittently rewarding if ambition challenged exhibition’. The hard fact is that no matter how aspiring the curatorial intent, if sector depth from which to draw is largely absent, curatorial ambition is futile.

The underlying problem and root cause is that most fields Objectspace was set up to service have been steadily eroded over the past two decades. With the exception of jewellery, tertiary training in craft and applied arts has all but disappeared. The remaining vestiges stagger and will also similarly vanish unless respect for the accumulated expertise, haptic knowledge, rich culture and vibrant histories is supported by our principal funding body, as Education has abandoned these fields as too costly, space-greedy and unfashionable (despite, finally, some acknowledgement of ceramic’s revival and employ as ‘the new black’ or even ‘the new video’ – by fine arts and questioned, way back in 2011, by the same Roberta Smith – but let’s not go there for now!)

Creative New Zealand cannot save the situation by itself but can fund initiatives that hold promise and advocate on behalf of these attenuated areas. As Anna Miles remarked, The consequences of a loss of opportunities for assembling the skills and knowledge associated with object making have repercussions that reach well beyond the extinction of these specific practices’.

Which brings me to the mention of Kate Fitzharris’s small installation at the entrance to Objectspace as the only current representation of craft practice in the building. Her unfired clay figure survived the trip up from Dunedin and sits, as her smaller figures do, composed and serenely awaiting… what? This current work, The Stillness of Movement, is a further step in what she has been steadily developing over the past fifteen or so years. During that time her work has always been figurative, and small in scale with resonances of human/animal, domestic/wild and incorporating found materials that engendered intimacy with histories and place. Three years ago she made an exhibition for a Dunedin art space where she incorporated into a clay and wax matrix, found items gathered along the walk between her home and the gallery and made a long string of beads as narrative for that journey. For this current show she again incorporated items gathered on a long walk – cow hair, lichens, seeds and bark – along with wax and local clay, for another ‘string of pearls’ that hovers around the figure as connector with locus. Two years ago she attended a workshop by major figurative artist, Akio Takamori, a Japanese/American who was a guest at the Australian ceramics conference in Adelaide. This has encouraged the increase in scale we see for the first time, although the serene, almost receptive bearing accompanied by domestic objects – in this case a jug – and meditative ambiance the installation offers, continues. A clay skull hangs at the figure’s neck surrounded by dried lichens gathered on the walk and the face markings with white clay suggest ritual so is the jug for sacraments? Or simply signifier for something more intimate? While the core remains constant her articulation deepens as she musters various resources, steadily building a unique oeuvre that intimates a subjective credo around life.

Fitzharris is part of the last sizeable bunch of graduates capable of being in a group show of emergent ceramic artists. For that 2002 exhibition, at Lopdell House Gallery and touring to Hawkes Bay Exhibition Centre, more than 60 applied – most having graduated over the previous ten years – and eighteen were accepted into, of Heralds and Harbingers. Those artists included, besides Fitzharris, Richard Stratton, John Roy, Katherine Smythe, Lauren Winstone, Paul Maseyk, Robert Rapson, Rob Cloughly, Michael Tannock, Brian Staite, Nicola McLaren, Vincent Forster and Dixie Tunnicliff. Most of these derived from the Otago Polytechnic ceramics course where they were taught by USA/Alfred graduate, Bruce Dehnert and are still practicing in some way, with some off-shore, and form our youngest and newest substantial group of exhibiting ceramics-trained artists. The sad fact is most were born around the early>mid-70s, and there are few behind them making up the rear echelons that are necessary to give impetus. The almost complete collapse of tertiary education for applied arts in all but jewellery means that there is the odd graduate who might break through into exhibiting in public spaces or white cube ranks but basically, curators have a challenging task finding an exhibition premise for more than a sole artist that is not historical, industrial or a re-visit in some way. No matter how good the idea, there have to be artists working in a way that can fit the concept and thus make a show, or they must have received sufficient training to be able to adapt to a suggested premise. Neither has been the case for a long time. Ceramics simply no longer has the depth it once could take for granted. We have to hope that the current review for Craft/Object making, by CNZ, can result in offering artists something else that might advance their work. If something is not done very soon, to use anther aphorism, the situation can only be likened to turkeys awaiting Christmas.

 

Kate Fitzharris at Objectspace. The Stillness of Movement. Installation (unfired clay, mixed media)

Kate Fitzharris at Objectspace. The Stillness of Movement. Installation (unfired clay, mixed media)

Kate Fitzharris, The Stillness of Movement. detail.

Kate Fitzharris, The Stillness of Movement. detail.

 

 

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URGENT ATTENTION, a little thinking and some fast work required!

Creative New Zealand are currently surveying the Craft and Object Arts sector and are looking for responses to a questionnaire that results from a review carried out earlier this year. For those who have concerns with advocacy policies or funding processes (or lack thereof) or have interest in any other functions such as international residencies, grants, art fairs etc whether currently available or you wish they were, you have opportunity to be a participant and responder.

There is a document first where CNZ lay out what they currently do and what changes they propose to make. It’s long at 30 pages but not difficult and all is laid out for your perusal. This is followed by the online questionnaire where you can respond to the proposed changes – most is simply ticking boxes. But importantly, there is ample space where you can offer your own thoughts on this.

As far as I know, this is the first time CNZ have gone to the sector in this way in order to formulate policy. Here is your opportunity to have a say and lay out your own thoughts on and to our principal advocacy and funding body.

You can provide your views by:

  • completing the online questionnaire
  • sending CNZ an email
  • sending CNZ your written comments by mail

The deadline for replies is 5pm on Wednesday 25 June 2014.

Your responses will inform CNZ’s recommendations to the Arts Council. Publication of final reports will be in August and approved recommendations will be implemented from January 2015.

Go to CNZs website and check out REVIEW OF CRAFT AND OBJECT ART. Or, the mailing address is….

Creative New Zealand

PO Box 3806

Wellington, Wgn 6140

New Zealand

 

So, if you’d love the sort of opportunities the jewellers currently receive, are fed up at repeated grant applications being turned down, would like workshops by the world’s best, wish to see your work in the Basel Art Fair or simply like a symposium in your back yard so you can listen to trained views or get advice on what it is you do… here is the opportunity you have been waiting for! Sorry about the short notice but I was under the impression all or most already knew about this and only just discovered that’s not so!

Notice is short but nothing like a deadline looming to concentrate the focus!

For those internetly challenged….
Go to…
www.creativenz.govt.nz/ and below the moving images you will see…
Latest News and Blog Posts
The top info is headed… Creative NZ’s reviews of craft/object and visual arts
Click on the words in BLUE that says…Read more 
Voila, a new page opens giving you much the same information and under the heading… How Do You Contribute To The Reviews? Click on Craft and Object Art - also in BLUE…
Go for it!

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More Blog Odds and Ends

Masterworks is Moving! After many years on Ponsonby Road and before that at two locations in Parnell, Masterworks is again moving base.

This time to 71 Upper Queen Street in Newton, where there is a small Design Precinct.

The grand opening exhibition is scheduled for

Sunday, July 6th.

Reasons are several… they will have more flexible and larger exhibition areas (almost double) and bigger storage areas – been a need for quite a while… Like you may be, I was a little concerned about the lack of foot traffic up there (I drive through regularly and don’t see many hoofing it) and the loss of a window to the passing parade of Ponsonby Road people. However I am assured that ‘drop-ins’ are rare, even in that high traffic area, and sales to them even scarcer. Eloise and Christine are confident that their established clients will follow and that they can attract at least the same proportion of new ones. There will be parking right outside – a positive as the increased distance would be a negative in wet weather as it’s a more exposed walk. The main plus though is that they can re-think their terms of how they would like to represent artists. As the nature of retail shifts and alters, (just walk Ponsonby or Jervois Roads to observe this) a business needs to re-focus how they operate so as to stay relevant and so we can all look forward to an increased dynamism that will work well for everybody.

Entries open for the Korean ceramics events and competition. KOCEF seems now the settled name for the large-scale events in Korea that centre on ceramics, after a few changes over recent years. Taking place over three towns that all feature different aspects, this might be the largest prizes of all for international competitions at almost US$50,000, $20,000, $10,000, $5,000 and it consequently attracts large numbers of entries. The prize money is acquisitional – that is KOCEF gets the work for no extra cost other than the prize and the work enters their collection. There are two judging processes: entry online by September 1 for the preliminary screening in November (takes 28 days) then actual work to be there for final screening by Feb 9th. However, like Mino they reserve the right to reject any entry following these processes. There has been controversy over Mino decisions along these lines in recent times so check the fine print. Categories allow for functional/design and art plus a reinterpretation of tradition. Winners are invited and costs covered to attend. I was there for the 3rd International event back in 2005 giving a paper at the symposium, and can promise that if the standard of entertainment is the same or better, you will never see a more spectacular opening event – a couple of hours of drummers, acrobats, corps of dancing girls, presentations impossible to categorise or put a name to…. all by grads from a school for traditional entertainment of tourists. It culminated in a gigantic (?8m high) pot that gradually inflated from a small flat base and then slowly moved to centre stage where it split open like a flower to reveal a working potter inside throwing on the wheel …gasps all round….

Korea currently invests more money than any other country into cultural tourism and ceramics is a main focus of this thrust. For more information go to www.kocef.org

Last word on those big Museums and Galleries…

Down the road from NYC, in Washington DC,   you don’t have to pay in museums and galleries. It was a great surprise when our proffered $$$$ were returned as we entered one after another of the capital’s avenue of art galleries and museums. They flanked a wide sward of green, The National Mall – running between the Lincoln Memorial and its reflecting pool (remember Forrest Gump?) and The Capitol, with the White House (surprisingly small) as off-shoot along another side-sward of green. Large imposing buildings containing the nation’s treasures are free, as all are Federally owned, not private. We galloped around as many as possible. Marvellous, but we could not see all. The Gallery specific to applied arts was closed for long term refurbishment but the Freer Gallery, The Smithsonian and The National were open. The Smithsonian’s several buildings had many wondrous exhibits from the first American flag to Julia Child’s kitchen reproduced in every detail, or rather transported, following her death, to the Museum. She kept everything within grabbing reach instead of behind doors and I counted eighteen different saucepans on wall hooks….

Perhaps one of the most impressive things was the open storage. We saw this at The Met in NYC too but in Washington it was housed in an elegant three layered gallery accessed by winding stairs or a glass lift.

open storage

open storage

ceramics storage

ceramics storage

ceramics storage

ceramics storage

ceramics storage

ceramics storage

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Carolina Folk Art ceramics storage

 Impregnated clay boot in Folk Art cabinet

Impregnated clay boot in Folk Art cabinet

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TALKFEST   JULY 4th evening and July 5th day.

Talkfests don’t seem to be of great interest to the ceramic community. There seems to be some view that it’s nothing to do with ceramics/clay/pottery and discussion is a waste of time. While potters love their get-togethers, they are often more around things convivial, or alternative ways of building a fire-box, rather than being involved in discourses about new movements, fresh thinking to re-vivify the field or philosophies around awards events – the how and the why and what it might inject into the field.

Objectspace has run these mid-winter talk-fests for several years now. Each time with an international guest as focus. A few years ago we had a Scots curator, then it was the Director of The Jam Factory in Adelaide and last year the founder and Director of an influential jewellery gallery in San Francisco, but whoever comes, the events and talks have been wide-ranging and invariably interesting although some more so than others depending on your orientation I guess.

Only problem was that the ceramics community has been conspicuous by its absence. Not one potter showed up and I suppose it might be that they did not know about it. So here is this year’s offering.

Friday Evening, 6-45pm at Auckland Museum…. PECHA KUCHA night.

If you’ve never experienced Pecha Kucha it’s more than time you did. Last week I attended Pecha Kucha’s 40th occasion at Q Theatre, in praise (mainly) of photography. This event at Auckland Museum is in praise of the crafts. Basically, each presenter gets 6 minutes 40 seconds to talk to 20 slides of….?… (their work and how it links to the world of objects/craft/design or whatever turns them on) and each slide is pre-set to show for exactly 20 seconds each. It’s rapid fire stuff with no chance for lengthy explanations, repetition, or boredom setting in! It’s not possible to say a lot in 20 seconds so honing and preparation is the key. It can be a hugely enjoyable occasion. Take a gold coin along.

If you have interest in presenting your work to a greater audience than you usually enjoy, you too might be a part. So send a short description of your proposed presentation to … info@objectspace.org.nz by June 16 to be included. And then come along as the crafts, as they currently are here in Enzed, get an airing.

Saturday July 5th at Auckland Museum again

11am Keynote address by this year’s guest, Benjamin Lignel – furniture maker, jeweller, editor of Art Jewelry Forum, curator and member of Think-Tank. Ben is from France but I met him when in Austria and his English is perfect and his writing, in English is too, as well as making you think! Don’t expect it to be too academic though – he is a fine speaker.

He is addressing the tensions between the singular and the generic – an issue that affects the full spectrum of crafts (think about all those rows of coffee mugs and the ceramic one-off and their respective valences)and at the end of the time he will debate with Damian Skinner some of the questions and points that have arisen. This is the sort of dialogue we should have at regular intervals and I anticipate that it will be a pleasure to listen to – so mark the date.

After lunch at 1pm will be a session by Pauline Bern – senior jeweller and long term teacher at Unitec talking about objects of the Museum’s collection that have underwritten her own unique practice and she will be joined by Finn McCahon Jones – known to many ASP members as a fellow student at the centre and he is also Assistant Curator at Auckland Museum and he will address the language of materials found in Auckland Museum’s collection – so you can expect a good cover of ceramics there.

This will be followed by Warwick Freeman and Karl Fritsch– jewellers who curated a show of NZ contemporary jewellery for Munich this year called Wunderumma and the thinking behind their decisions.

Maybe we’ll get some inkling as to why jewellery seems to currently garner the lion’s share of available funding.

Then from 2-30 pm all focus should be on ceramics for the rest of the afternoon.

First up I am talking about the Critical Article, what it is and what we should expect from an exhibition review at regular intervals…   and why… But it’s just short ….

Then at 3pm Linda Tyler (Director of Gus Fisher Gallery) monitors a panel of makers of the ‘new ceramics’ as they form part of the increasing encroachment by artists with fine arts training of various sorts. They get the chance to talk about their whys and whats and scrutinise why Roberta Smith, New York Times arts critic, asked ( back in 2011 ) ‘Are ceramics the new Video?. This was in reference to the then apparent proliferation of artists, without much by way of formal ceramics training, who were exhibiting objects made from (sometimes barely) fired clay in white cube galleries in New York City’s Chelsea district and asking surprising prices for something some ceramists would consider conferring to the slop bin before it got anywhere near a kiln. Roberta Smith has always been a staunch supporter of ceramics and taken an active interest ever since Garth Clark opened his gallery in New York City. She proved knowledgeable and, at times, pungent on the subject. This practice, via the Chelsea galleries, has now moved below the equator and we see ceramics’ presence in places that previously would not have allowed it across the doorstep. This will last about an hour and you, the audience, will get a chance to ask your own questions at the end.

Finally we have, at 4pm, Andrew Clifford, Director of what was called Lopdell House Gallery and now, when in its new building next door to the former space, Te Uru. It will have five (specially configured – not adapted) spaces for exhibitions and our Portage Awards show will be among the first up. We can learn of the plans for programming for the gallery, which has traditionally been a home to ceramics because of west Auckland’s history with ceramic production of many sorts – from early drainage pipes to Crown Lynn to abundant studio practices – and longer term plans perhaps for The Portage event which currently holds the major position in the ceramics calendar.

Right at the end will be space to bring up your own issues and comments.

So, July 4th and 5th – there are not many opportunities like this for a broad examination of your field.

Objectspace gets support from CNZ for this event – it’s your tax money spent towards your benefit. Might be good to show CNZ that the clay world does indeed have some interest in discourses around the field and is not as isolationist as, at times, it can appear.

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