We were asked to talk about Australian ceramists who have inspired us. I probably won’t be able to discuss all of them today, but I will make a start and make more contributions in the following days/week.
In 2003, I met Victor Greenaway at the occasion of an artist talk while he was working as an artist in residence at Atelier De Cirkel in Brasschaat, Belgium. It was a significant occasion because it eventually helped me to make the decision to come to Australia to study ceramics.
Later on, I ended up working with Vic for a few days at Sturt in Mittagong, NSW, while he was there as an artist in residence in 2004. Even though there is no immediate relation between his work and mine, I have always been impressed and inspired by Vic’s skill and focus, his dedication, professionalism and lifestyle. Watching him throw one of his thin-walled large spiral bowls is a truly entrancing experience.
Looking at the work he made in the past and seeing how it has evolved over the last few years, it seems to me that his work is strongly influenced by the environment he lives in. I suspect that his art plays a role in his connecting to place, as well as processing the experience of a new place and making sense of it.
These thoughts relate to how and why other Australian ceramists I will talk about have inspired me. But let me tell you this first: In 2004 during the ceramics conference in Gulgong, I bought my first Journal of Australian Ceramics in a shop somewhere along the way from the campground to the Prince of Wales! It was issue 39 #4 from 2000 with Victor Greenaway’s beautiful black and white spiral vessels on the front cover!
More to follow…