Potters Cottage: a tribute
Sylvia Halpern© 1918 - 2008
In days gone by, Warrandyte was synonomous with the Potters Cottage (1958 - 2004). So what better exhibition to open the new Manningham Gallery than a tribute to that old Warrandyte institution. This is such a nostalgic exhibition. Apparently many visitors have expressed their delight in the opportunity it affords them to renew their aquaintance with the Potters Cottage. With an extensive collection of ceramics made by its founders, black and white footage of setting up the cottage and glass cabinets rich with photos and written material, Potters Cottage: a tribute offers a great insight into the importance of ceramics in the area.
Sylvia Halpern (Deborah Halpern's mother) is well represented with birds, figures and vessels.
Gus McLaren© 1923 - 2008
Work of Potters Cottage founders Gus McLaren, Reg Preston, Phyl Dunn, Charles Wiltom, John and Betty Hipwell and Artur Halpern, shows the diversity of what was created there.
Reg Preston© (detail)
Later ceramists have acknowledged the contribution Potters Cottage made to their arts practice. In a catalogue accompanying the exhibition Paul Davis is quoted as saying,
Potters Cottage was 'Camelot' for us; a satellite for potters to gravitate to. You only had to go into the gallery to see the work of practically all those who were working at that time. For both young students - who came in cavalcades - and professionals, it was an inspiration, and a welcoming and generous place. page 131, Potters Cottage: a tribute by Grace Cochrane, 2012
Another later ceramist, Alexandra (Hipwell) Copeland first came to my attention through her business Weft which she runs with her husband Leigh. They sell magnificent tribal arts and textiles from Afghanistan. I was fascinated to learn of her early exposure to ceramics at the Potters Cottage. Her bowls in this exhibition show an exemplary use of glaze and colour. The influence of Reg Preston, who introduced her to Italian maiolica pots is evident here. See page 134 Potters Cottage: a tribute by Grace Cochrane, 2012
Alexandra Copeland©, bowl (detail)
Alexandra Copeland©, bowl (detail)
Deborah Halpern ©
Much loved local artist Deborah Halpern has a couple of pieces in the show. For her, Potters Cottage set the scene for a successful career in ceramics and sculpture.
Manningham's new Gallery space.
The new Manningham Gallery is divided into two distinct spaces. Its designers have ensured that multi media presentations can be included in exhibitions. This facility is put to good use for the Potters Cottage exhibition. Make sure that you have plenty of time when you visit this exhibition. It's well worth taking your time and absorbing all of what's on offer.
Potters Cottage: a tribute
5th September - 10th November
Manningham Art Gallery, Manningham City Square, 687 Doncaster Road, Doncaster, Victoria. Melway Ref: 47 F1
Gallery Hours Tuesday - Saturday 11.00 am - 5pm. Free Entry
Maria Vanhees, More Than Skin-Deep ll, earthenware, press-mould and coil built, soda fired, H47 x W53 x D34cm. 2009 (detail)
Feast your eyes on these examples from an exhibition showcasing 45 of the best of Australian Ceramists. The exhibition, Engaging Form, was curated by Austrailian ceramics guru Anna Maas, within the Barn at Montsalvat. Public response was outstanding. Anna was there every day to explain technique and to offer information about the history of the artists. Her wealth of knowledge and generous approach to interested visitors added an extra dimension to the exhibition.
Included in the exhibition were Victor Greenaway and Timothy Clarkson who have both been featured on Isiiad. If you would like to know more about any of the artists, please contact Anna Maas through her website Skepsi on Swanston.
Natasha Hosny©, Passing Through, porcelain, installation, H14 x W17 x D30, 2012
Dean Smith©, Palladium Light, fine white stoneware, matt crystalline glaze, applied palladium leaf, H60 x W30 x D12cm, 2012
Fleur Schell©, Duck Wanting to be a Rabbit - Tea Set, porcelain, teapot H37 x W30 x D13, cup H11 x W12 x C8, 2012
The whimsy of this piece was utterly delightful. I imagined that any minute the Mad Hatter would appear and invite me to tea. This work beautifully reveals the essence of Fleur Schell's arts practice,
"...I am drawn to objects that teleport me back to my childhood - a time when many inanimate objects cluttering the sills of our farm house secretly winked, giggled or pretended to be frozen when I glanced up at them. I was convinced our 70's Bakelite tripod salt and pepper shaker danced across our dining room table while we slept.
My immediate surroundings and an intimate involvement in the lives of my two young children Heidi and Harry, their infectious joy and unwaviering belief in magic, are a continual inspiration to me." Page 43, Engaging Form Exemplary Australian Ceramics Skepsi on Swanston @ Montsalvat 2012
Kirk Winter©, Pitjantjara Donkey, earthenware, Axedale ball clay, glass cullet, Thorpdale bauxite, iron oxide, titanium dioxide, Yarra River yellow ochre, carbonized rice hull, Acacia deal bata resin, H24 x D22cm, 2012.
Jeff Minchin© (detail)
"There is something sublime in the experience of nature, between you and what you see, and that's where the important art is. My work arises from direct experiences within the landscape, and is loaded with metaphors of memories related to those special places. The surfaces reflect an ongoing passion for the South Australian countryside. These environments are expressed through bold graphic interpretations of patterns, colours and textural effects which summarize my thematic work." Page 30, Engaging Form Exemplary Australian Ceramics. Skepsi on Swantson @ Montsalvat 2012.
"Underlying my work is a profound respect for the historical and cultural significance of all indigenous people. This work has reference to the spiky spinifex grass, which is widely found in the Great Victorian Desert, in Western Australia, and the story associated with the Spinifex people and their land." Page 34, Engaging Form Exemplary Australian Ceramics Skepsi on Swanston @ Montsalvat 2012
Garry Bish©, Vessel: The Space Beyond, wheel thrown ceramic, H16.6 x W16cm, 2008.
The catalogue for the exhibition, Engaging Form Exemplary Australian Ceramics, is available at Montsalvat reception at a cost of $22. It's an exquisite production featuring photographs and artist statements along with a photographic record of the makers marks for each artist. Invaluable for collectors.
My congratulations to the artists and Anna Maas on putting together a very fine exhibition.
Launch of The First Train to Allwood at The Wattle Festival
What better place to launch the local yarn bombing spectacular - The First Train to Allwood - than at the 2012 Hurstbridge Wattle Festival? The festival was held one week before National Wattle Day (1st September) and thanks to recent high rainfalls, the wattle was better than ever.
Organizers of The First Train to Allwood, Margaret Summerton and Robina Summers, were pleased as punch to be able to offer phase one of their ambitious project to the public. Sponsors, Nillumbik Tourism Association proudly launched it.
With some skillful adaptations of the words to This Train Is Bound For Glory by Woody Guthrie, a little trio from the Warrandyte Sanctified Singers, (with ukelele) accompanied the launch. Is there no end to Margaret Summerton's talents?
I'm already looking forward to phase two...as it's pretty clear that this train is definitely bound for glory!
Directly across from the train, a little yarn bombing tribute to our native flora had everyone talking. In fine yarn bombing tradition, no one was saying who had done it.
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