Reflections on 2015

Best intentions to re-start with studies can change in one year. 2015 was full of other interesting things as I explored new techniques in ceramics, worked out how to use silk screens in many different ways, established workshops in my studio and have my loyal artist friends who came to play with clay with me. This is such an inspiration to me: to have companions in the studio.

There was only one market for me this year, at Pomona, a hot day and quite successful, and I really enjoy seeing my other artist friends and colleagues. Work has also been sold through the Pop Up Gallery at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre, and Hearts and Minds, Pomona Railway Gallery and a Pop Up Gallery run by the lovely Greg organised by Emma from Ceramic Arts Qld, at a little shop in Indooroopilly, which I hope is the first of more Brisbane exhibitions.

I’ve been working on a range of layering techniques on clay, using quite traditional techniques: stencils, scraffito, Mishima, and my print techniques: tetra pac prints, newspaper transfer prints, laser decals, tissue transfers, all working together in layers. Horror vacui *  😄

A big adventure in Canada and USA filled September and October, and coming back to Noosa refreshed, was punctuated with a trip to Sydney to see the Grayson Perry exhibition and talk at the opera house. This consolidate my need to make my art have more ‘meaning’ and message: to be working with ideas. I found it interesting that his ceramic’s techniques were simple but effective for what he wanted to say. Very, very inspirational, and though provoking, and I came away with the motivation to start new, bigger forms, using traditional shapes of handbuilt pots, drawing back to Jeff Mincham’s ideas, and his wonderful handbuilt work.

In Sydney I also saw Lloyd Rees’ lovely line drawings with pencil which are beautiful, and fodder for Mishima and tetra pac printing on clay working from my pencil drawings as starting points.

2015 saw a series of Print on Clay workshops in my studio, and one at Mary River Artslink with the wonderful Heinke Butt. A very enjoyable day in Imbil school of arts with some fabulous tile samplers created.

The Ceramic Centre for Excellence really took off, and, as secretary I am highly involved in the ceramics program at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre, and the 2017 Smoke on the Water conference. It is a fantastic committee with Kari, Rowley, Linda Perry, Liana Flynn and Julie Wall as the steering group with support from Johanna De Maine (who keeps the Facebook group up to date), Ross Hepworth, our business and legal consultant, and Jackie Gasson as a consultant on a range of ceramics matters.

We begin in March with a CCE Member’s exhibition “Starting the Fire”, ceramics drop in lounge and visiting wood firer Neil Hoffman, who will run workshop for CCE members and a talk for local artists and local Cooroy traders and locals. Neil was the organiser of Woodfire Tasmania 201.  Starting the Fire will be the local launch for Smoke on the Water. Progress will be seen on ceramiccentreforexcellence.com.au

Other committee (which I am withdrawing from as CCE takes up more time) is Slow Food Noosa, which has given me a new appreciation of the local growers and producers, as well as the opportuny to eat fabulous food prepared by local chefs. The highlight for me was the Empty Bowls Lunch to raise money to support Timor Leste women and children’s’ nutrition and health program. My generous ceramics artist friends donated about 75 bowls, many of which were auctioned. A delicious lunch prepared  by local chef Michael Jenkins, at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre among the Pop Up Gallery exbition of paintings were enjoyed by 60 diners. It was a very special event raising $3000 for the Timor Leste project, which means they can establish a whole new project for 20 mothers with children under 5 years. slowfoodnoosa.com.au

I remain on the perifory of Noosa Open Studios, which will be hosting Open Studios and hub in October. noosaopenstudios.com.au

So a few tastes of a really busy year, and much anticipation of things that hold my interest and attention as we move into 2016.

Ideas that ar grabbing me right now – that space-time continuum, worm holes … Hmmm

* In visual art, horror vacui (/ˈhɔrər ˈvɑːkjuːaɪ/; from Latin “fear of empty space”), also kenophobia, from Greek “fear of the empty”), is the filling of the entire surface of a space or an artwork with detail.

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