Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Curator's View September 2017

Whether you see September as late Summer or early Autumn this month's featured makers will prolong the sunshine.  All three makers have shown here before with some success and I have no doubt that together they will provide an admirable contrast in both technique and creative style.

It is a pleasure to have a fine group of Claire Murray's original figurative sculpture. They will make you smile but also reflect on the inner self which is redolent of so much of her work. I see that she is now using more colour in her work and this adds to the dramatic qualities of her quirky pieces. There is literally no one else making work like this and I am sure that these figures will generate considerable interest and comment.


Sylvia Holmes has not had a group of pieces here for a while. Her admirers will recognise her decorative technique which is abstracted with subtle uses of colour and brushwork. She combines layers of texture, line and colour to create rich, evocative, tactile surfaces on simple thrown or hand-built stoneware pieces.  This is simply three dimensional abstract painting.

Kyra Cane had her first show at Bevere in 2016 and it was very well received. She has exemplary skills evident in her finely thrown porcelain pots. Once again we are seeing porcelain as the ultimate clay body for tactility and luminescence. These vessels are elegant and have great presence. Kyra is a well known teacher of ceramics and I am delighted that she will be with us at this month's maker's lunch to talk about her work and her creative inspiration.

Clearly there will be much to enjoy this month and I hope that our visitors will agree.

Sunday, 6 August 2017


   Richard is showing here at Bevere Gallery for the first time. His wood-fired stoneware is distinctly decorated and although inspired by the Japanese ceramic culture in which he has spent some time, he likes to make functional pots that create a dialogue with each other and indeed with us.  I have handled a vast number of pots over the last fourteen years, but I can remember none like these vessels,  which, I have to say, benefit from close study – there is a lot to take in.

Seen en masse you might be forgiven for thinking that these are identically decorated pots – their primary distinction being shape and function. The benefit of listening to Richard talk about his creative drive and making processes is to understand that every pot  - large or small  - has a provenance based on  his British Guianian heritage. His father came from Guiana and his mother from Wales. The cliché 'every picture tells a story' is no cliché in this case, Richard knows the origin and meaning of each of the myriad images he reproduces on his vessels.

He is deeply interested in the history of the British Empire and the contribution of peoples from many Empire nations to the UK and its institutions. His pots are an interesting mix of delftware and contemporary studio pottery. This adds to the sense of the past embedded in each and every vessel.

It would be difficult to spend two hours with him without reference to his role as technician on the Great Pottery Thrown down series. He provided an insiders perspective on the programme and there was acknowledgement of the stress and effort required to support the competitors. He also talked about the tile making company which he acquired when it was closing and turned it into a successful business.

So – in summary -  we were greatly entertained by this charming and articulate potter. It was another example of how our appreciation of pots is significantly enhanced by understanding 'the what' rather than 'the how'.

Thank you Richard for a stimulating experience and I am confident that I speak for all those that attended the lunch.

 Stuart Dickens - Ceramic Curator