The second of the Gallery's Maker's Lunches involved Keith Varney whose work has been in the gallery since he was in our Annual Graduate Show in 2011. I have to say that the two hour session went by very quickly and I suspect that this was a reflection of the level of engagement between Keith and the ceramic enthusiasts who attend the lunch.
There was a strong feeling that Keith was a highly skilled maker whose work was uniquely his voice. Most were surprised when he talked about the way he made each piece and his ability to bring together complex shapes with no evidence of a join or 'the potter's thumb'. He responded to all of the many questions with candour and welcomed all of the considerable feedback which he received during the session.
One of the issues that emerges from these revealing discussions with makers is the interest in the 'what' – probably more so than the 'how'. Even though high level technical skills are admired, the maker's motivation and creative drive is what marks them out as special people. Keith has always been a maker - since childhood indeed - and whilst he initially he became a furniture designer and maker, his conversion to clay was absolute.
A fine group of his latest work is featured in the gallery until the end of this month – do take the opportunity to see some truly original ceramic art.
8 May 2017