Congratulations to Vic Evans of Nelson who has recently completed his PhD in Art History – something that has occupied him for some years now. His thesis is entitled ‘Constructing Craft: Harmony and Conflict within the New Zealand Studio Craft Movement 1949-1992.’
So, it embraces the political shifts and other happenings within craft here in NZ, from their post-war genesis to the demise of the NZ Craft Council, documenting a rising professionalism particularly within ceramics and also the increasing influence of various organisations such as the NZSP and the various fibre guilds. For those interested in histories, and how certain things came to pass, it will be fascinating reading. It is work like this that helps elevate our field from being viewed as a variously rewarding occupation or recreation, by supporting ceramics’ parity with other genre under the wider umbrella of art.
This makes Vic the second PhD from our field, after Leo King’s work with public sculpture installations back in the ‘90s. These accomplishments are bucket-loads of work – research, verification, analysis and evaluations and then writing. Believe me, ploughing through the National Archives is far from simple. The amount of sheer slog entailed is not to be dismissed, quite apart from putting all that work into relevant and readable form. The thesis can be accessed via Massey University’s site, or write to Dr. Vic. The title of ‘Doctor’ in a research based degree is a major attainment and our sincere congratulations must go to ex- (and still occasional) potter, Vic, for his successful completion. Seriously, very well done!