“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 lime, mortar and cement.