Sunday, July 18, 2010

Patterns of Light: porcelain monoprints by Maiju Altpere-Woodhead

Echo #3, 2010, porcelain, monoprint, erosion, 1300ºC, h.100cm, w.100cm

Echo #3 (detail)

Soul’s Garden #6, 2010, porcelain, monoprint, erosion, 1300ºC, h.100cm, w.100cm

Soul’s Garden #6 (detail)

Speech by Vicki Grima at the opening of Patterns of Light

The intriguing work of Maiju Altpere Woodhead.
It’s rich and it’s beautiful.
It’s complex and it’s simple.
It’s serious yet also playful.
It’s ceramic and it’s printmaking.
Maiju makes use of printmaking techniques, but uses porcelain instead of paper. The way in which she combines the two, gives us the viewer, a richness and complexity which draws us in, then pushes us back again to view from a distance.
My eyes weave from one side to the other, across, in and under the textured surfaces, following the graphic markings she has made at various stages through the process of making. She paints coloured porcelain slips on in layers, scratches into it with scalpels, fine ballpoint pens and saw blades. Later when the slabs are dry she uses resists such as latex, shellac and wax, to cover areas she wants to keep, then rubs away at the surface, eroding the it away.
She works intuitively rather than planning every step and there, I feel, lies the beauty. It is subtle, quiet and dignified.
As you come in closer to the work, you can see the layers of porcelain – different colours, tones and textures. This is what draws me in. I want to see what is deep in there…  and discover those fine details for myself.
Maiju uses this physical layering of porcelain slip as a metaphor for personal memories and how they are created. Memory and meaning are created and re-created, arranged and re-arranged as time passes. Our memories sometimes become dormant before re-emerging somewhere else. Maiju’s work is about time, or maybe timelessness… that fleeting moment, that which we try to catch in a photo.
It’s also worth commenting also on Maiju’s use of ceramics as the material of choice. She is attracted to it’s durability and its tactility. She is searching for permanence.
In my job as Editor of The Journal of Australian Ceramics, I have been waiting for an opportunity to feature Maiju’s work in more detail, and so in issue 49/2 there is a feature article written by Ann McMahon.
I hope you will enjoy reading the article as it explains in more detail about Maiju’s heritage and influences on her work, along with as covering her process of making step by step. I hope I have done credit to Maiju’s accomplished work.
Congratulations to Kerrie and Elisabeth from Kerrie Lowe Gallery for continuing on in their support of studio ceramics in Australia.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Moon in Sydney

Lots of friends gathered on Saturday 12 June for opening drinks with the potter, Milton Moon, who travelled up from Adelaide for the day. Milton also launched his new autobiography "A Potter’s Pilgrimage", a delightful personal account of his life and work. The exhibition runs until 26 June at Peter Pinson Gallery, 143 Edgecliff Road Woollahra, NSW 2025; T: 02 9369 1919;; Wed to Sat, 11am - 5.30pm

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

“Up in Smoke!”
A ceramic exhibition hung up on size, and displayed on a pool table, was held last week during Clay Energy Gulgong 2010. Delegates/potters/teachers/students were invited to make and exhibit a ceramic art work that fitted inside a matchbox. A final 45 works will be chosen by organizers Michael Ciavarella and Rowley Drysdale, with the aim of an ongoing tour of the exhibition. There was no set theme and no box was to be altered or painted on the outside. The art work had to fit inside a standard Redheads Matchbox (content 45 Safety Matches).

My matchbox entry honoured the creative spirit of postman Ferdinand Cheval. Ferdinand Cheval (1836 - 1924) spent 33 years of his life building a palace in his backyard in Hauterives. He used stones he collected over 33 years, during his daily mail route. Cheval carried stones from his delivery rounds and at home used them to build his Palais idéal, the Ideal Palace. First he carried the stones in his pockets, then a basket and eventually a wheelbarrow. He often worked at night, by the light of an oil lamp. Cheval spent the first two decades building the outer walls. The Palace is a mix of different styles with inspirations from the Bible to Hindu mythology. Cheval bound the stones together with limemortar and cement.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Natural and Industrial
Slip along to Double Bay in Sydney before 27 April for some stunning work by Sophie Verrecchia. Sophie collects objects, both natural and industrial, bringing them together to create the most wonderful wall pieces. Sophie also does commissions ... mmm ... very tempting!

"Sculpture on the Wall" 
7 - 27 April, 2010

"Landscape with Bones", (detail)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lucky 13!

Here is the cover of my 13th issue as editor of
The Journal of Australian Ceramics
Wood-firing is the theme for this one and it's a beauty!!! 
Rowley Drysdale from the Sunshine Coast, QLD, 
was guest editor as he's a wood-firer 
and knows lots about it all. 
He also runs a space called Quixotica 
where people come together to work with clay. 
Wood-firers have a love for this technique 
which is captured in this issue. 
Sure you'll love it!!!
Buy a copy here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Closing on 13 March at Manningham

Memories of France: 100 brooches 
Vicki Grima

Memories of France: collection
inspired by Ferdinand Cheval

Memories of France: collection
inspired by French windows

Friday, February 26, 2010

New work at Manningham Gallery

bowl + spoon sets by Vicki Grima

Melting Pot
24 February – 13 March 
French ceramic artists (Christian Faillat, Yves Gaget, Brigitte Long, Jean Marc Plantier, Sylvie Rusé Maillard, Maryse Tavernier, and Jean Pierre Thomas) are returning to Melbourne to join Australian ceramic artists (Jane Annois, Robert Barron, Vicki Grima, Sandy Lockwood, Veronique Pengilley, 
Ric and Judy Pierce and Wendy Jagger). 

Manningham Gallery
699 Doncaster Road
Doncaster VIC
Tues to Fri, 11am - 5pm
Sat, 2 - 5pm