by Patsy Hely, President
The end of 2011 saw the very successful opening at Manly Art Gallery and Museum (MAGM) of the members’ exhibition, The Narrative Knot and the exhibition to mark The Journal of Australian Ceramics 50th anniversary, PROmotion. Thanks very much to curators, Gerry Wedd and Dee Taylor-Graham, for their work and to the staff at Manly for their, as usual, very generous and professional support.
This Sunday 22 January at 5.30pm the Association will be celebrating 50 years continuous publication of the Journal with a drinks party at MAG&M. The Journal is one of the longest running art journals in Australia and it has achieved this status through the support of the Association’s members and the ceramics community as a whole – you, dear reader – and I’d like to take this opportunity therefore to thank you for your ongoing support. The Journal of Australian Ceramics is a great resource for and about the ceramics community in this country and is a tribute to all of its editors and contributors over the years.
The formal part of the 50th event will include a short synopsis of past and present features of the Journal by the current editor, Vicki Grima and our guest speaker will be well known craft curator and writer Grace Cochrane who will be giving her perspective on the contribution the Journal has made and continues to make. As well, we will be announcing the five winners of the inaugural Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships and, as has become customary at the Journal’s birthday events, cutting a Journal-shaped cake. As well we will be formally thanking past editors and supporters.
The Association will be focusing on a number of initiatives this year. Firstly, the TACA website is undergoing an update and we hope to launch the new site shortly. Secondly, we are in the planning stages for publishing The Journal of Australian Ceramics as an e-journal. This does not mean the end of the print journal, we plan to do both, but making it available digitally will increase its reach, allow more extensive content and enabling us to include audio and video features.
Then, the Australian Ceramics Triennale is being held in Adelaide 28 September – 1 October this year and the Association has organised a members’ exhibition to be held there, The Vase Show. Also we will be hosting a second 50th anniversary celebration for the Journal so its achievement can be celebrated more broadly amongst its constituency.
With the Journal’s 50th anniversary only days away, it was very sad to hear that its founding editor, Wanda Garnsey, passed away recently. Wanda worked tirelessly to develop the Journal in its inaugural period and her daughter, Julie Blakemore, has tales of the family gathered around the dining room table while the issues were being put together, of Wanda gently prodding and giving confidence to contributors, and of the excitement each issue generated amongst contributors and readers alike. That continues today.
Congratulations to the inaugural winners of The Trudie Alfred Bequest Ceramic Scholarships 2012: Amy Hick (ACT), Janetta Kerr-Grant (VIC), Tracey Mitchell (NSW), Serena Rosevear (TAS) and Sharon Thompson (NSW). It was wonderful to be able to present the awards to four of the five winners at the celebrations for our 50th Anniversary on 22 January 2012 at Manly Art Gallery & Museum. Each of the five winners received $4000, which will assist them with their ceramic studies at a tertiary institution in 2012. A call for applications for the 2013 scholarships will be announced in The Journal of Australian Ceramics and on our website, http://www.australianceramics.com soon.
Vale: Wanda Garnsey passed away on 24 December 2011 at the age of 97. Wanda was the founder and first editor of Pottery in Australia (now The Journal of Australian Ceramics). As an active member of the Potters Society of Australia, Wanda saw the need for a journal that would provide Australian potters with an overview of what was happening in Australia as well as overseas. She wanted to showcase work by Australian potters and provide in depth cutting edge technical articles using Australian materials. She created a template for the journal which, with a few updates and revisions, remains the format to this day. She was also a talented potter whose work is in the collection of the Art Gallery of NSW, the Powerhouse Museum and the Manly Art Gallery and Museum. Photographs of her work can be seen in the National Library Trove archive. Wanda relinquished her editorship in 1974 after twelve years, continuing to receive copies of the Journal up to the present. The Australian Ceramics Association regrets her passing, and gratefully acknowledges her outstanding contribution to Australian ceramics, The Journal of Australian Ceramics and the Potters Society of Australia (now TACA).
We welcome these new members: Irene Charnas, Ken Madej, Michael Evans, Alevtyna Hyde, Kelly Pearce, Caroline Johansson, Karen Tran, Julie McAlpine, Brian Keyte, Michelle Frainey, Rodney Grossel, Natalie McCallum, The Stoney Lee Art Collective, Hidemi Tokutake, Renton Bishopric, Xenia Cameronne, Lisa Pulja, Anne Masters, Niharika Hukku, Joel Smoker, Anne Gallace, Sharon Ridsdale, Pamela Marshall, Rose Maguire, Tracey Mitchell, Sharon Thompson, Amy Hick and Evelyn Howard.