Saturday, 26 May 2012

JUNE - Our Curator's View

May was a really stimulating month from a gallerist’s perspective – footfall has been good but importantly there has been so much interest in the ceramics currently on show. This has reaffirmed our view that the rich diversity of studio ceramics that we have on display at Bevere appeals to a wide range of taste and interests. June will be providing yet more new work from makers who have not been here for a while.

Morgen Hall is an ardent supporter of the gallery but she has not been making for some time. Whilst we hope to have a body of work from her in the not too distant future, she has been able to let us have a beautifully crafted, yet completely one-off, piece (two pieces in one actually) which she describes as a Cocoa, Coffee, Vanilla Brandy Cream Mousse Mould. As we have come to expect from Morgen, this versatile vessel is exquisitely designed and executed. The image here shows the pot with mousse – how often does that happen – however in the words of Morgen herself if making mousse isn’t your thing, then it will make a great fruit bowl. I’ll settle for it being a wonderful piece of ceramic art.

I have known Jitka Palmer for a long time and it was a pleasure to see her visit the gallery when she delivered new work and two of her watercolours. 
by Jitka Palmer

After a foray into porcelain, she is back into earthenware, which I believe supports her painting and palette more effectively. If you know her porcelain bowls then come and see this new work and let us know what you think. If you have never seen her work, then come and see these unique three dimensional paintings.

It is so good to have Mark Smith here and in the month of June too. His work is redolent of the sea and the seaside. There is a strong ‘feel good factor’ about Mark’s work which is inventive and always amusing. He lives and works in Staffordshire which could not be further from the world he depicts in his pieces – such is the power of the artist’s imagination.

Ceramics by Antonia Salmon
Antonia Salmon is a consummate ceramic artist whose sculptural pieces are organic, tactile and sensuous. She has one of the most readily identifiable voices in British studio ceramics and we are delighted to have her represented here again. Each of her pieces is the product of a lengthy and meticulous making process and each work has that sense of completeness that comes from high level craft and design skills.
David Wright's Handbuilt Woodfired Coiled Pots
If you have been reading this blog you will know that we have started to feature the work of selected CPA Associates. This month we are pleased to have David Wright on show in the gallery with an excellent group of coiled stoneware and in person, as he has agreed to undertake a residency with us for a week from the 12th - 16th. These are strong pots that have an interesting mix of the classical and contemporary and we know they will appeal to many of our visitors. Do come and talk to David who will be delighted to share his experience with you. This is hand-building of the highest quality.

Rose Wallace has lived in Oxford for the past thirty years. She has been involved in ceramics since 1998 latterly studying at Buckinghamshire New University, graduating with a 1st class B.A.(hons) in 2008. We are delighted to be showing a range of her latest work for the first time. Her Flatback Figure Series recall traditional Staffordshire mantelpiece ornaments, however these unique ceramic figures are crafted from casts of contemporary consumer packaging and discarded domestic ephemera. Quietly narrative, they capture the minutiae of modern life. Definitely not 'old Staffordshire!'
June is also a month of high expectation. July and August will be devoted to the Cornwall Crafts Association with a show which we know you will want to visit more than once. For our part we anticipate that the logistics of setting out the work of over fifty makers will be as daunting a task as any of our past challenges. Needless to say we know it will be worth it for the pleasure it will give us and we hope our many visitors. See you soon!

Stuart  Dickens

Sunday, 6 May 2012



A major exhibition of contemporary art and craft
30th June – 1st September 2012

There cannot be a more iconic county in all of England.  The name is evocative of windswept moorland, golden beaches, rocky coves and inlets, picturesque harbour villages and, of course, that light!

Cornwall also has a distinct cultural identity and over the last century it has been a magnet for artists and craftspeople from far and wide.  However, it wasn’t until 1973 that a unifying body – The Cornwall Crafts Association (CCA) – was established.  It seemed therefore entirely appropriate, that Bevere Gallery - whose 40th Anniversary it is this year - should invite the CCA, itself in its 40th year, to join in what will be a memorable celebration

All of Bevere Gallery and its gardens will be annexed by Cornwall over this period
Fifty five artists and makers will be exhibiting in an event which will span two months

There will be two exhibitions each of four weeks duration which will ensure that as wide a cross section of CCA members will be on show. As our regular visitors might expect we will be featuring a significant number of fine ceramicists. However we will also be showing the work of jewellers, glassmakers, woodworkers, textile artists, sculptors, printmakers and artists

The first show will be launched on Saturday 30th June and run until the 22nd July; the second from Saturday 28th July closing on the 1st September

We are planning to have Cornish Cream Teas served in the Garden on each of the opening weekends, where we hope that CCA members will be able to join in the celebrations, and the Stable Workshop will house a programme of artists and makers in residence

Part One Exhibitors:
Saturday 30th June – Wednesday 25th July

Ceramics: Jenny Bevan | Amanda Brier | John Buchanan | Delan Cookson Stephanie Cunningham | Paula Downing | Sarah Dunstan | Christine Feiler Theresa Gilder | Rick Henham | Paul Jackson | Sylvia Ryan | Peter Swanson

Furniture: Nicholas Langan | Scott Woyka

Garden Sculptures: Paula Downing | Annie Henry/Geraldine Jones
Chris Prindl | James Otter | Terence and Katrina Wagstaff | Samvado

Glass: Jonathan Fuller | Selina Radford

Jewellery: Carole Allen | Deb Davidson | Elinor Lamond
Stephanie Johnson | Amanda Ray

Original Prints: Hilary Jean Gibson | Trevor Price | Michèle Wright
Textiles: Amanda Richardson | Vivien Prideaux

It seemed entirely appropriate therefore, that Bevere Gallery - whose 40th Anniversary it is this year - should invite the CCA, which is also in its 40th year, to join with us in what will be a memorable celebration.

Part Two Exhibitors:
Friday 27th July – Saturday 1st September

Ceramics: Nic Harrison | Victoria Hilliard | Remon Jephcott | Charlotte Jones Stephanie Pace | Mary Rich | Chris Prindl | Shelagh Spear | Linda Styles
Jane Suchodolski | Louise Thompson | John Webb | Diane Winterman

Furniture: Nicholas Langan | Scott Woyka

Garden Sculptures: Paula Downing | Annie Henry/Geraldine Jones
Chris Prindl | James Otter | Terence and Katrina Wagstaff | Samvado

Glass: Naomi Singer | Malcolm Sutcliffe

Jewellery: Martin Page | Julie Murdoch George | James Robinson
Lesley Silver | Jack Trowbridge

Original Prints: Hilary Jean Gibson | Trevor Price | Michèle Wright

Textiles: Amanda Richardson | Vivien Prideaux
Cornish Cream Teas will be available - in addition to our regular menu - on all weekends throughout the exhibition

The Stable Workshop
will again be housing a programme of residencies throughout the summer please check our website for full details

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Stuart's May Report

In the Gallery May sees the start of our year-long promotion of the work of the Associate members of the Craft Potters Association. From the outset we have been committed to showing a wide range of studio ceramics from the well established to the emerging and less well known. As always, our criteria remain quality and a distinctive voice. The first two in our rolling programme are Sylvia Holmes and Sandy Layton. 

Sylvia produces elegant thrown and hand built vessels which enable her to show her decorative skills to great effect. I am reminded of some of the work of Jackson Pollock - in the sense that the abstraction of the decoration has a beautifully balanced feel to it. This is certainly not reliant on the chance flick of a brush, every stroke and colour application is intentional - serendipity plays no part in Sylvia's well chosen group of pots.

Sandy Layton has work which is similarly disciplined but with an entirely different look and feel.

 Her work is often made up of one or more smaller pieces contained within wider and shallower vessels.  I like the organic fluidity of this work and the subtle contrasts of colour. Relatively small scale, Sandy's groups of pots are made for thoughtful reflection.

We have two featured makers this month. Fred Gatley is new to the gallery.  I first saw his work at Ceramic Art London.  There are a number of interesting features which contribute to the aesthetics of these small plinth based installations.  His use of found materials from the River Thames and Deptford Creek means that each small pot and wood plinth has a unique provenance. The elegant refinement of the small bowls contrasts with the found wood bases on which they stand which are inevitable softer and more random.

Claire Murray whose figurative ceramics have been featured in the Gallery for the last two years, is providing half a dozen new pieces later in May.  Her current range of work focuses on the complexities of human communication and we know from the response of so many of our visitors that her work certainly makes very positive connections.

We are well advanced with our preparations for the Cornwall Show in July and August. We now have over fifty exhibitors each of which has
 been thoughtfully selected.   I am particularly encouraged by the positive response to our invitation to show at Bevere.  Most see the show as a major opportunity to expand the interest and hopefully the market for their work- watch this space!

Stuart Dickens -  Bevere Gallery's Ceramic Curator