New acquisition in the Powerhouse Museum collection

Collecting politics

Penny Byrne, Souvenir (of) Tahrir Square, 2011

Image: Sullivan & Strumpf website

Four ceramic figures each titled, Souvenir (of) Tahrir Square recently acquired by the museum are rare tangible items able to document the momentous but intangible impact of social media. The Souvenir (of) Tahrir Square figures are named after the public square in Cairo that was central to the Egyptian democracy protests throughout 2011. The figures are vintage porcelain ornaments, dramatically altered by Byrne, to become politicised statements celebrating free speech.

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Author: Australian Ceramics

In 1956, The Potters Society of Australia was formed to encourage and foster the development, appreciation and recognition of potters and pottery. It was the first ceramics organisation in Australia. In 2006, our name was changed to The Australian Ceramics Association to more fully reflect the scope of practice of the members. We are a national, not-for-profit organisation representing the interests of practising potters and ceramicists, students of ceramics and all those interested in Australian ceramics. We actively support and promote quality, specialist ceramics education nationally. T: 1300 720 124

One thought on “New acquisition in the Powerhouse Museum collection”

  1. While appreciating the social upheaval symbolised by Tahrir Square, I can’t accept that these vintage porcelain figures have any contribution to make. The commentary claims that Byrne has “dramatically altered” the figures. I feel the “altered” ceramics are rather a bland response to the problem in Egypt, which is still to be fully played out.
    Why the Powerhouse Museum would be interested in these slight little, self-indulgent, Post-Modernist ornaments is beyond me.

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