I work with porcelain clay not for translucency but because it gives me a white ‘canvas’ upon which I can apply subtle colouring of slips, underglaze colours and glazes.
I work quickly, intuitively and expressively that mostly bypasses the self-consciousness of the conscious mind. This creates a sort of state of “nothingness” in my thought processes, thereby opening up a channel to my subconscious and the invisible world of the soul and the spirit and which taps into a kind of ‘universal energy and invisible consciousness’.
I allow the marks, lumps, bumps and splits in the clay recorded during the making process to remain as a history of the manufacture of a figure and importantly, to show the unique plastic nature of clay that allows the integrity of the material and form to remain in spite of rough handling or precarious balance and disrupted surfaces. I often emphasis these characteristics with black stain against the white body. The mark making also helps to enliven the textural surfaces of a work.
My work is figurative and focuses on the interior landscapes of the human pysche – our psychological make-up with all our eccentricities, quirkiness, foibles, failings, fancies, anxieties and deceptions. These are made manifest in the figures through body posture, size, attitude, facial expressions etc.
Often an unintended dialogue develops between figures. Some figures are humorous; there can be irony as I poke fun at our pompous self-delusions. At other times the figures are used as a platform for social/political comment such as in “Clown Regiment” or as in the use of a tableau depicting the use of capital punishment by governments that still practice this system of ‘murder by the state’.
Sometimes, the spirit in the figures takes command and I am merely the physical conduit by which they express themselves. It can be an astonishing exercise!
CV – full-time ceramic artist, potter and sculptor since 1977. I read for a BFA at Rhodes University, majoring in Theory of Art and Sculpture. I have taken part in over 200 exhibitions in South Africa and some abroad (Italy, France, New Zealand, Hong Kong). I have acted as a judge for Ceramics South Africa’s regional, national and international exhibitions. My work is in museums in South Africa and abroad. I was made a Fellow of CSA* in 2010. I write reviews and articles for SA’s National Ceramics Quarterly and have published in Ceramics Art & Perception, Australia. I have received 16 awards from CSA and Rhodes University. I have taught privately and have given workshops for CSA in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth (also external moderator for NNMU, 2006), East London, Grahamstown, MacGregor and in Namibia. I took a residency at Le Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris in 2005. My work is published in various ceramic books in Italy, France, England and the USA.