by Patsy Hely, President
We’ve been lucky, here in Canberra, to have had the opportunity to see recently a fantastic exhibition: Itarra murrakipinni-ingingaminni purrarpulirri Ngura kutjara – wangka mantanguru ‘Two communities – the language of clay. Ceramics by Tiwi artist Robert Puruntatameri and Ernabella Artists, Alison (Milyika) Carroll, Carol (Anilyuru) Williams and Malpiya (Irpintiri) Davey were featured. The work was made during residencies in Canberra, by Robert at Straithnairn Arts Association (where the exhibition was held), and the other artists at the ANU School of Art. The exhibition came about as part of a project organised by Head of the Ceramics Workshop, Janet DeBoos and the work included thrown and hand-built pieces, all with beautifully rendered patterning and imagery.
The ceramics community has been saddened this year by a number of events including the passing of senior members of the field and the cataclysmic events in Japan that have so effected our fellow potters there. But the response by the ceramics community to these has been heartening to see and a reminder that our community is a strong one – concerned, supportive, empathetic, and for a field notoriously under-rewarded financially, very generous.
The last few days have brought news of the fire that destroyed the home and gallery in Gundaroo of Ian Jones and Moraig McKenna – a devastating loss for them, despite being insured. Furniture, photos, their collection, clothes, family mementos, large chunks of Ian’s PhD, not to mention their young daughter’s toys and belongings – all lost. The Canberra Potters Society and Ian’s and Moraig’s friends and colleagues are organizing an auction and sale of work on Monday 13 June, 10am – 4pm. If you would like to donate work or to participate in the auction, please look for details in the TACA weekly emails from TACA over the coming weeks.
In the meantime, if you were on Ian and Moraig’s mailing list (also gone up in smoke) and would like to be added to the mailing list, ACT Potter’s Ian Hodgson is re-establishing for them, please email him at: email@example.com.
It may be timely to remind everyone of the NAVA Benevolent Fund through which artists can apply for financial help in times of crisis. This is a really useful fund to donate to as well.
Most of you will have heard of the deaths on 24 April 2011 of Thanakupi and on 5 May 2011 of Ian Currie. Both will be very fondly remembered by those who knew them and by the ceramics field at large. We are lucky, here in Canberra, to have a reminder of Thanakupi in the form of work in the collection and her large sculpture, ‘Eran’, commissioned in 2010 by the National Gallery of Australia – such a pleasure to see it marking the entrance: http://bit.ly/kXpflX
The ABC website has the transcript of an interesting interview about her life Thanakupi did on the Message Stick program on Friday 4 November 2004 with Jennifer Isaacs and presenter Rachael Maza: http://bit.ly/jh58Hc.
Large numbers of us are very grateful to Ian Currie for the work he did on glazes; his straightforward, well organised approach to glaze formulation simplified the development of glazes for generations of potters. Ian passed away on the 5 May. Ian’s website remains online and on this he generously made available, under a creative commons license, a digital version of his out-of-print book: ‘Stoneware Glazes – A Systematic Approach’ (http://ian.currie.to/) with only a small donation for the webhosting suggested.
It has been a busy time at TACA since our last meeting, preparations for The Narrative Knot and PROmotion are proceeding and both are looking in good shape. Vicki, Trisha Dean and I met recently to discuss the budget and forward planning. Trisha has put together a budget that includes amounts to mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Journal and for developmental activities for 2012-2013. We will be canvassing ideas for planning and development at the July meeting.
Vicki has done a great job in finalizing The Trudy Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships with the ArtsLaw Centre and the Application Form and the Terms and Conditions are now available on the TACA website. She will be shortly contacting institutions nationwide to alert as many students as possible and we’d be grateful if members could also spread the word.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 21 July 2011 @ 6.30pm at TACA’s Waverley office. Call 1300 720 124 for details.
We welcome these new members:
Adam Price, Sarah Ormonde, Beatriz Edrees, Jennifer Lansdown, Sue Scobie, Fred Straughen, Peter Hodgson, Susan Jorgensen, Callie McLean, Anna Couper, Deborah Gower, Jan Gardner, Dean Smith, Cynthia Ottewill, Susan Foldhazy, Tracey Mutze, Stephen Benwell, Sadhana Peterson, Esther Konings-Oakes, Julie Wall, Kathy Allam, Ray Cavill, Kate Dorrough, Kirsten Coelho and Alexandra Standen.
We mourn the loss of these distinguished members of our ceramics community:
Vale Bernard Sahm, 1926 – 2011
Vale Ian Currie, 1941 – 2011
Vale Thancoupie (Gloria Fletcher James) AO, 1937 – 2011
Congratulations to Pippin Drysdale who is a 2011 recipient of the Artsource Lifetime Achievement Award in Western Australia.
Congratulation to Ben Richardson, the inaugural winner of Vitrify Alcorso Ceramic Award! Ben won the $10,000 award for his installation of ceramic work Placed – a series of groupings of wood-fired stoneware vessels. The judges described Ben’s work as reflecting a strong sense of place. The other three finalists were Kim-Anh Nguyen, Prue Venables and Belinda Winkler. The exhibition was held at the Colville Gallery, Salamanca Place, Hobart, Tasmania from 15 – 25 April 2011. For details and images: vitrify.com.au
Woodfire TAS 2011: Thanks to Neil Hoffmann and his wonderful team brought together an eclectic mix of presenters, curators, demonstrators and delegates. Deloraine was a good location, similar to Gulgong in some ways – gaggles of potters everywhere you went – and everything within walking distance. The finale at Neil’s property would be hard to beat – we had so much fun!!! Teams formed and worked together digging clay, building kilns, making pots, stoking wood, cooking food, then making people happy with their antics as the judges were served the food in the pots made and fired in the preceding hours. Neil was supported by family, friends and local Tasmanian potters. We thank them for making it a wonderful, creative event! Vicki Grima’s images of the event are posted here: http://tinyurl.com/vickiwoodfire