by Patsy Hely, President
This is my first report as President since taking over from Julie Bartholomew. Julie has been a fantastic advocate for the Association and she, Executive Officer Vicki Grima and all of the Board have expertly steered TACA through a very successful year. Membership has grown, the Journal has even wider distribution, and a number of successful events have been held including the 340 grams members show at Gulgong and the Ilona Romule workshop in Sydney and the Photographing Ceramics workshop in Melbourne.
Importantly, the Committee have also been developing a number of exciting initiatives for the coming year: a peer reviewing process for the Journal, the Trudie Alfred Bequest launch, JAC’s 50th anniversary celebrations and TACA’s biennial national exhibition at the end of 2011.
The first issue of The Journal of Australian Ceramics in 2011 will see the publication of its first peer-reviewed article. Dawn Whitehand, from Victoria, together with Vicki, have worked to establish the protocols for this, developing guidelines for both authors and peer reviewers. The first ‘Call for Papers’ is in the issue just published, 49/3. The aim of this initiative differs slightly from the peer review process common in academic circles where a high priority is for academics to be able to establish their (and their institution’s) credentials via publishing. Rather, TACA has seen the introduction of the peer-review process as a way of promoting excellence in critical writing about ceramics and, through this, to make a contribution to the field by providing opportunities for the publication of scholarship in the area.
In 2011, planning will be completed for the Trudie Alfred Bequest in which scholarships for students ‘with a love of ceramics’ will be awarded. The Committee’s plan is to launch the bequest and award the first scholarships on the opening night of JAC’s 50th anniversary exhibition at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum in December 2011. The planning for this exhibition is currently underway, with Michael Keighery as curator. TACA’s biennial national exhibition will also be taking place there at the same time, with Gerry Wedd curating ‘The Narrative Knot’.
One of my early activities as President was to write to the Powerhouse Museum on behalf of the Committee to question the early removal of the decorative arts, crafts and design exhibition ‘Inspired’ and request information about their policy in relation to the future of the collection and exhibition. The letter went to the Director, Dawn Casey and to the Minister for Arts, Virginia Judge. There has been a great deal of public dissatisfaction expressed in the media over the last few months about the Powerhouse’s lack of consultation with their craft and design constituency and there will apparently be an ‘announcement’ giving further information at their Life Fellows dinner on 27 November, so you might want to look for news of this in the media around that time. Some commentators have drawn comparisons between the Powerhouse and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and – whether or not that is a fair comparison to make – if you have seen the refurbished ceramics galleries there, you will have been entranced I’m sure. If you haven’t had the luck to visit there, an article in the Guardian by writer A.S. Byatt gives some sense of the wonder these galleries present: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/oct/10/byatt-ceramics-victoria-albert.
I’m very much looking forward to a closer involvement with the Association and with members in 2011. The Association (or the Potters’ Society as it was then) and the Journal were part of my first introduction to the world of ceramics back in the 1970’s and have been companions since. I hope to meet or catch up with members over the coming 12 months, and all the best to everyone, and to TACA, for the coming year.
Our next meeting is Wednesday 19 January, 2010, at 6.30pm, at TACA office, 249 Bronte Rd, Waverley NSW.
We welcome these new members:
Garry Palacek, Ann Ferguson, Hedwig Shears, Susannah Larritt, Mary K Jack, Detlev Henrichs, Joey Burns, Annette Poole, Penny Philpott, Trudi Whitcher, Dianne Sigel, Sharyn Dingeldei, Sharon Stevens, Kristina Browning, Carol Hills, Lise Hodgkinson, Amy Zirkle, Libby Gilkes, Judith Allen, Colin Stone, Maxwell Douglas, Renee Danielle Jeffery, Carmel Sayer, Lara Gray and Amanda Harrison.
Vicki Grima (Executive Officer TACA and Editor, JAC) returned on Wednesday from the ICMEA 2010 conference in China. It was the second time she had participated in the ceramic magazine editors conference, the first time being in 2007. The magazine was well received and the conference delegates presented papers and discussed a broad variety of topics, from the need for more critical writing in the ceramics field and the development of a ceramic “language” to the GFC and ceramics courses around the world. Fourteen Australian ceramicists were chosen in the final round of the Emerging Artist Competition (20% of approx 70 artists) held concurrently and judged by the editors present. Five of the fourteen attended the conference. Inga Svensden, who could not attend, won a one-month residency in Fuping. Congratulations to Inga! View the winners here: http://www.icmea2004.com/Competition_result.html