Wednesday, 27 January 2016

THE CURATOR'S VIEW – February 2016

The Graduate Show was a success for exhibitors and for the gallery's reputation for supporting emerging talent in ceramics and the applied applied arts. At the time of writing, I am unaware of the winner of the visitors' poll to find their favourite maker, but I am aware that there are several contenders - judging by the voting so far.

It is always a problem setting up the gallery after the buzz of the Graduate Show, however, I am in no doubt that February is the most fitting start to the featured maker programme given it is the Gallery's 10th anniversary year  – sorry to mention it again.

 Furthermore we have the good fortune to be showing the latest work made by Jane Hamlyn, one of a trio of makers  
who made up our first ceramic exhibition in 2006. Jane is a doyenne of studio ceramics and the quality, design and decoration of her work has always been amongst the best. I am delighted to see her featured in the gallery again.

Another Bevere favourite is Clare Crouchman.
Her work spans the so called craft/ fine art divide. Her wall mounted work has developed and matured year on year and she has developed a readily recognisable and distinct voice which I know enhances many a private home. Not only is her imagery admired but the making technique is often remarked on. I am in no doubt that visitors will enjoy her work as much as they have in past showings.

The third featured maker this month is Warwick based Claire Seneviratne.  She is new to Bevere and we are pleased to be able to show her striking smoke fired pots as well as her jewellery.
 This attractive decorative rather than functional ware which I know will make an impact in the gallery.

Once again, if there are issues which you would like to comment on or indeed constructive views about what we strive to achieve in the  gallery do not hesitate to engage with me either through the blog page or in person if you see me at Bevere.

Monday, 11 January 2016


Well – we have had the opening day of the Graduate Show. As ever there had been concern initially about the potential number of visitors  - particularly as some of the graduates were able to be with us – and of course their response to the exhibition. Any apprehension soon evaporated. We had an encouraging turn out and the response was universally positive. Many felt this was one of our best Graduate Shows and importantly, that it successfully embraced current trends in design and process with the more traditional making techniques.

What emerged were two important issues from a gallery perspective.  Firstly, the growing use of computer aided design and 3D printing fascinated and intrigued our visitors. What's more, whilst the making process provoked curiosity, it was the overall quality and attraction of the objects on which the viewer's judgement was reached. In other words, it is the outcome rather than the process which is their prime concern

Secondly, one of our regular clients commented that, if he hadn't already known it was a Graduate Show, the quality of the exhibits was equal to the high standards he normally expected at Bevere -  praise indeed.
 We are particularly pleased with the rich diversity of the show and whilst we cannot say that the exhibitors are the best of the 2015 crop of graduates, they must certainly rank amongst them.

If you haven't yet been to the show do try before the end of the month. If you have been and enjoyed it, do come again. There are sure to be pieces that you missed first time around or are worthy of a second look.

Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator

Stuart would like to chat with you  about this show so do leave a comment -  we would be very interested to know what you think

Thursday, 7 January 2016

New Year's Curator's View

Happy New Year – and what better way to start this 10th Anniversary year for Bevere Gallery than the Annual Graduate Show. Bear with me if I repeat again the key criteria for showing at Bevere. There are only two; self-evident craft skills and an original voice.  Neither of these are easily acquired and for that reason the same criteria are applied to curating the Graduate Show and our final list of exhibitors are blessed with these qualities.

This year we are particularly pleased that the eleven graduates who are showing will maintain the Gallery's reputation for quality and diversity. We have also tried to ensure that the show represents the current trends in design and making. Whilst there is a melding of the traditional with  the contemporary, we are seeing increasing use of new technologies such as computer aided design and computer printing. We know that the use of these processes is controversial for some ceramic enthusiasts and we anticipate that this will generate an interesting debate amongst our visitors. For myself, I have to say that our judgement should be influenced more by what we see and feel rather than by process issues alone.

As usual, we will be asking every visitor to the show to cast a vote for the graduate that they like the best – not always an easy task. The maker with the most votes will be represented by the Gallery during the course of 2016. The work of the winner  last year - Laura Murphy - has been shown several times during 2015 and she will be showing a small group of her pieces One Year On.

I have avoided listing the exhibitors as they are readily accessible on our website and I also want to avoid any bias towards one maker or another and thus influencing your vote when you visit, as I hope you will. Suffice to say we are very pleased with the show and we hope that it will the most fitting start to this Anniversary year.