Thursday, 11 October 2018

Maker's Lunch - 6th October - Akiko Hirai




If we needed any encouragement to maintain our Makers Lunch Programme then Akiko Hirai's first visit to Bevere provided just that. The level of exchange and interaction between Akiko and our lunchtime guests was engaging and very informative and judging by the sales of her work there is no doubt that her work is widely admired.
 
By her own admission, she has no secrets; all aspects of her working practice were openly discussed. She gave frank and direct answers to the many questions she had over our two hours together. Her work is clearly influenced by the Japanese tradition but with a strong contemporary feel. Her recognisable ceramic voice developed over time rather than some overnight revelation and as with so many creative makers she continues to experiment with new glazes. The moon jar and sake bottles demonstrate the  looseness of her making technique and what can best be described as a controlled randomness which leads to such well balanced yet quite eclectic pieces.

She enjoys the multicultural environs of London where she lives and works and based in the Chocolate Factory along with other artists and makers she welcomes the interaction between them. There is often a sharing of insights and experience which can inform ones own practice.

Her teaching experience is considerable and she has no doubt that this informs her own making as the need to understand process and the impact of specificactions underpins her own approach to making. She is always keen to understand the why as well as the what of her creativity. In many ways this is evident in her love of the written word and the emphasis she places on describing her environment and her remembered perspectives on the world.

Above all else there is a modesty about Akiko which is so appealing and not withstanding her own perspectives on her work she is very open to the views of others. She has a cerebral approach to her work and a clarity about what she wants to achieve and given that English is not her first language, we could only admire the articulate responses to questions and her facility to describe her ceramic life so perceptively.

Thank you to all those who spent lunchtime with us as it is their interaction that makes the event a memorable one.

Stuart Dickens


Ceramic Curator








Saturday, 15 September 2018

The Curator's View - October 2018






It is always a pleasure to change over the gallery and create a different look. This month is going to be special as we have three makers who have been with us a few times before and they have always generated interest through their creativity and undoubted artistry.

Akiko Hirai is one of our favourites and we are pleased to see her work here again. Her Japanese origins are clearly evident in most of her pieces but they are nevertheless contemporary and often at the edge of design and ceramic development. It is her innovative spirit which pervades her making that attracts so many to her fine vessels. I am particular pleased that she will be joining us for the Makers Lunch to be held on on 6 October.

It is too long since Alasdair MacDonell  



and Sally MacDonell
 
have shown here and I have missed their exceptionally innovative and original approaches to ceramic sculpture.  They do have distinct stylistic voices, however they  share the same values in terms of skills and a concern to enhance the home with objects of beauty and long-lasting interest. I last saw Sally's work at Ceramic Art London and was struck then by the maturity and confidence in her making.


More than any language we might choose to describe the work this month, the smile is likely to be the most common expression of the pleasure that I know will be generated by Akiko, Alasdair and Sally

Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator
September 2018

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Next Maker's Lunch Saturday 6th October


We are delighted that Akiko Hirai has agreed to join us for the Makers Lunch on 6 October between 1200 and 1400. when she will be discussing her fine work which will be featured during October.



She describes her work as semi-spontaneous and we can see the freedom of expression which marks her use of clay. This promises to be an exceptionally interesting and enjoyable time with this highly respected maker – as well as a delicious lunch.

To join us ring Bevere Gallery 
 01905 754484   and book your place – there are only a limited number of places.

Friday, 17 August 2018

The Curator's View - September 2018






The change of makers each month is coming around with extraordinary speed, or is this just the perception of an ageing curator? Nevertheless, we have an exciting mix of styles and making techniques that will hopefully maintain your interest in what is happening at Bevere and in the world of studio ceramics.

Hyu Jin Jo was at Bevere the first time in one of our Graduate Shows – her work was certainly highly regarded then. Now living and working in South Korea, she has built on her well-developed skill base to produce work which combines the contemporary with the traditional oriental. There is a simple elegance of design underpinned by her evident making skills. This is work which will sit comfortably in any context - always an indicator of good design. Delighted to be showing her work here again.

Lara Scobie will be known for her previous shows here. Based in Scotland, this skilled maker in porcelain has high level design and decorating skills which give her work such a distinctive voice. She often uses simple line drawing to exceptional effect. For her, it is the balance between composition and form, absence and presence, that offers some of the most exciting opportunities for expressing her creative voice.

Add to these the range and diversity of other makers in the gallery and as always it should be an enriching experience.

Stuart Dickens
August 2018

Sunday, 29 July 2018


A SPECIAL VISIT

Before the end of the exhibition featuring her work, I was delighted to welcome the eminent German potter Christiane Bernstiel with her artist husband Ulrich Sack. They were on a visit from their home in Neuenkirchen, Germany staying with long time friend the musician, Paul Wilson.

I have great admiration for the Bauhaus movement which was so influential in refocusing design after the jugendstil period (German Art Nouveau). Its impact was felt across the range of arts and architecture for many years after the Bauhaus School closed in 1933. Christiane's father Otto Lindig was for a time lead potter at the Bauhaus.

This gives some insight into the influences on her work; the picture of Christiane with myself holding a splendid large jug which captures the fundamental principles of Bauhaus design – 'sculptural functionality' most succinctly defines it.

The time over lunch and in the gallery was a real pleasure and Christiane showed so much interest in the work on display as well as appreciating the way we had displayed her own pieces. I am pleased to say that she much admired what we are trying to achieve at Bevere with the emphasis on quality and diversity. Her work most certainly adds to that range and I look forward to showing her work into the future. Hopefully, we will also have the chance to see her and Ulrich again.

Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator
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Thursday, 19 July 2018

THE CURATOR'S VIEW AUGUST 2018



The year advances at a pace - the change around this month seems with us all too quickly. We have three very different makers for us all to enjoy. Two of them have not exhibited here before and the third has shown here on several occasions and his reputation grows with each exhibition.

Many of you who are regular visitors will know the work of of Jin Eui Kim He is a meticulous maker with high level design and making skills. He demonstrates the impact of line and subtle colour on the way we view a vessel and the way light can change everything. Visitors to the gallery have always been amazed at his immaculate technique – all his work is hand decorated with stunning accuracy and flawless finish.

Laura Bird is here for the first time.  She is an  illustrator and potter based in Hackney, East London. With her background in illustration, a strong focus on narrative, character and pattern can be found in each piece. This is definitely ceramics to make you smile.

Ben Arnup is the other newcomer to the gallery this month although he has been an established and innovative maker over a number of years now. Trompe l'oeil is a familiar technique in art and his use in ceramics produces pieces which will always make you stop and think twice – at least! We are also particularly pleased that he will be joining us for the Makers Lunch on Saturday 4 August and I am confident that it will be a fascinating and insightful experience. Do come and join us.

So there we are -  hopefully enough to whet your appetite for yet another month.

Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator
August 2018

Friday, 13 July 2018

Demo Week in the Gallery Stable


We are delighted to be holding a week of ‘Meet the Maker/Artist Demo Days’ here at Bevere, in our Stable between 11am-3pm Monday 16th - Friday 20th July🎨

You will be able to come and interact with the artist during their demonstration to give you an insight into some of the classes we have on offer.
Monday 16th July-
Karen Stone-Watercolour artist
Tuesday 17th July-
Sally Morgan-Lino cut artist
Wednesday 18th July-
Kate Wrigglesworth-Artist who uses a variety of medium
Thursday 19th July-
Val Briggs-Wildlife artist
Friday 20th July-
Rachel Murgatroyd-Calligraphy
We would love to see you!

Sunday, 8 July 2018

THE MAKERS LUNCH
6 JULY
WALTER KEELER

We have now held a number of these events and all have been much enjoyed, however this lunch with such an eminent maker was exceptional.

I was delighted when Walter agreed to join us, not only because of his international reputation, but, having known him for a long time, I knew that he would talk openly and freely about his work and  decades of experience.
In the Gallery, Walter talked eloquently about the fine group of his pots we have featured this month – salt-glaze and earthenware – and almost every vessel enabled him to describe his approach to making and interestingly how a number of his glazes were developed over time. What was evident from the outset was the extent to which he thinks through the making process and reviews the options at each step in the making. This may be getting the right colour and texture of glaze or ensuring the clay body is appropriate and facilitating.

It became very clear that notwithstanding his years of experience, he continues to experiment and develop his work. This is, in many ways a function of his undying creative spirit, which has remained with him since he was a boy. For the makers round the lunch table he provided valuable insights into making, glazing and firing his work. For the non-makers, he impressed with the clarity of his descriptions and importantly the sheer amount of time that is devoted to making – making work of such quality and originality that is.

It was particularly fascinating to hear him explain how the large extruded jug on show was made. Extruding on that scale and diameter is technically tricky and clearly it took him time to work through ways in which shape and form could be sustained through the extrusion and subsequent processes. The result speaks for itself. It is a magnificent piece of his finest salt-glaze ceramic.

Teaching has always been an important part of his ceramic life and he gave a number of insights into the mutuality of the teaching environment – learning from it himself as well as clearly giving support advice and insights to his pupils.

Notwithstanding his international reputation and his undoubted skills in making and design, Walter's modesty and readiness to learn is always apparent. Whilst it may be a cliché that his work speaks for him, I have to say that he adds so much in his conversation which leads to even greater understanding of the man and his fine work.

Thanks once again to Walter for a memorable two hours.

Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator
July 2018

   The Next Maker's Lunch is with
Ben Arnup  on Saturday 4th August
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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Ceramic Curator' View of July in the Gallery



THE CURATOR'S VIEW
JULY 2018

From a Curator's perspective, this year has been a  particularly stimulating one so far and I have to say that this coming  month is an exceptional one even by Bevere standards.

Walter Keeler needs almost nothing to be said by way of introduction. He is one of the great British potters whose making and design skills are supreme. Not only is it good to have his work at Bevere once again, we also have the added bonus of a Makers Lunch with him on Friday 6 July. Book now to avoid disappointment and to hear Walter talk about his life in ceramics and the making of the pots that we will have on show.

It is also good to have the work of New Zealand born Raewyn Harrison back in the Gallery again. She is inspired by a love of architecture, history and a less conscious, but no less important, fascination for tidal landscapes. She uses a wide range of making and decorating processes which produce original pieces with a strong storyline.  

The first new maker to the Gallery this month is Matt Davis. Matt is at the cutting edge of current design and making technolog 
y. His computer aided design vessels are fascinating objects which redefine the traditional in a 21st century language. Controversial his approach may be but his work cannot be ignored.

We have an additional Featured Maker for this month and I am delighted to welcome the work of the German potter Christiane Bernstiel to Bevere. Her father was the eminent Bauhaus potter, Otto Lindig and there is no doubt that the Bauhaus influence is evident in her fine work which is characterised by her sculptural shaping of pots and the simplicity of decoration. In her own words, she focuses on each individual pot and the border between use and sculpture. This may well be the first time that her work has been seen here in the UK. Notwithstanding her heritage, she has her own voice and it is a privilege to be showing her pots this month and beyond.

You will now understand why I feel  this year has been such an exciting and stimulating ceramic experience. Come and join us!!!

Stuart Dickens 

Maker's Lunch with Walter Keeler on Friday 6th July




Wednesday, 6 June 2018


MAKERS LUNCH
       CAROLYN GENDERS


       1st June 2018
It was a particular pleasure to welcome Carolyn Genders as our Featured Maker guest. Carolyn has shown at Bevere several times over the past years and as always it was good to have her work back in the Gallery.

Once again, Carolyn's group of newly made pots contrasted strongly in making techniques and decorative styles with other featured makers, providing a stimulating show for all tastes.

Carolyn has an established reputation as a maker and teacher producing intriguing and colourfully decorated vessels from the small to the very large - although she now makes mostly smaller pieces. From my perspective, I have always seen Carolyn as a three dimensional painter. An artist who has adopted clay as the most effective vehicle for carrying her work. For her part, she has worked with clay since she was a young child, so in many ways her high level decorative skills complement her facility with clay and its potential.

Reference was made to two stimulating books by Carolyn on inspiration and decorative approaches – Sources of Inspiration: For Ceramics and Applied Arts and Pattern Colour and Form; Creative Approaches by Artists.  Writing these works enabled her to take time to think about her creative drivers as well as those of other well known  makers and artists.

It became clear during our conversation that Carolyn's ' decorative voice' has emerged over a number of years. It was also evident that her decorative style was much looser than the pattern derived style of some 15 to 20 years ago.  The largest of the pieces in front of us showed that a wide range of decorative techniques had been employed on the one pot.

She spends considerable time sketching and developing her decoration.  Essentially, she started each piece with a clear vision of what the finished piece would look like. There is no sense in which the Genders' approach is standing still and we will see her decorative approach develop and change over time.

Although Carolyn produces a wide range of paintings and prints she is in no doubt that her prime focus is on the making of clay vessels. It was evident that her love of clay iis deeply felt and that is why she prefers hand building rather than throwing as it reinforces the sense of each piece as a product of the hand.

These were just a few of the many issues discussed during the two hours over lunch and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the meal and the stimulating interaction. Many thanks to Carolyn for her major contribution to this event.
LUNCH WITH WALTER  KEELER - FRIDAY 6th JULY

Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator
2 June 2018
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Thursday, 12 April 2018

The CURATOR'S VIEW




 THE CURATOR'S VIEW
         MAY / JUNE FEATURE
 May 4th until  June 26th 2018

The meteorologists may be less able to foretell the onset of summer, but our featured maker programme absolutely does with a two-month feature involving six high quality makers who will bring us much needed sunshine. Two of the makers are new to Bevere and are very much part of our endeavour to continue to bring new and stimulating talent to our visitors.

Rebecca Appleby is the first of our new names. She has come to the attention of ceramic enthusiasts over the past two years and has made an impact with her abstract ceramics and paintings. We are always delighted to show the two-dimensional work of ceramicists, which gives a different perspective on the creative drive of the maker. 



 

Midori Takaki was a child in Japan with ambitions to become a writer. As it happened her vivid imagination turned to ceramics to express the almost continuous flow of ideas and images that are in her head. This is finely made ceramic sculpture with a strong oriental influence – not surprisingly.




Mark Dally is one of the best slip decorators we know. The confidence and precision of his black on white vessels and his design talents have been much admired on previous occasions at Bevere  - great to have him here again. He will also be joining us for the Makers Lunch on Saturday 5 May.




Christiane Wilhelm who lives and works in Germany produces meticulously designed and made pots, which we always welcome in the Gallery.  She is highly respected for the quality of her making and the original perspectives she brings to all of her work.  







Elly Wall  is our second new name. She makes distinctive vessels, which are often minimally glazed with marks and flashes of glaze. In her own words, she wants to maintain the freshness and rawness of her materials. Her work will contrast most effectively with other featured makers.



Carolyn Genders has an established reputation as a maker and teacher producing intriguing and colourfully decorated vessels from the small to the very large. She has not shown here for a while and it will be good to see her work here again along with her paintings. Carolyn will also be joining us for a Makers Lunch arranged for Friday 1 June

So there we are  - I hope that it brings our visitors as much pleasure as it does the Bevere team in setting up this stimulating show.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Maker's Lunch - PENNY FOWLER - April 2018



This was a fully booked lunch event which gave us all the opportunity to explore the elegance, precision and effective use of colour in Penny Fowler's porcelain and bone china pieces. Penny was last at Bevere when we held the CPA at 50 show which feels a long way back now.

Influenced by her sculptor grandfather, she developed turned thrown pieces originally, but became more and more interested in developing fine, precise pots that would show her carving to best effect. When she decided to make moulds and cast her pieces it was that point at which the voice we now recognise as distinctly hers, began to emerge.

All of us were particularly impressed with the structure of her small pieces and the apparent simplicity of her decorative design which belies the subtlety of her undoubted design skills. Penny sees herself as a City potter  - having lived and worked in London for may years – and her work reflects her interest in architecture, design and the world around her.  It was evident from the detailed processes she described that even the smallest of pieces could take several hours to complete. We can so often underestimate how long it takes to make high quality studio ceramics.

Over an excellent lunch we discussed a range of questions about Penny's work and the wider ceramic market. All round a very satisfying event and thank you to Penny for coming up from London for the day.

Stuart Dickens
8 April 2018

Next MAKER'S LUNCH -   SATURDAY 5th MAY with  MARK DALLY 

Saturday, 17 March 2018

The Curator's View April 2018


    

At the time of writing, it feels that Spring has not yet sprung and Winter still has a few remaining teeth, nevertheless we have featured makers in April that will certainly augur the change of season. Two of our featured ceramicists have shown here before and as always we are pleased to be showing a maker for the first time.

Sally Streuli is the new maker to Bevere. We are delighted to see her work which is inspired by her archaeological background. Sally's stoneware pots reflect the robust style of their ancient predecessors. The dark exteriors purposefully contrast with the highly detailed interiors where flora and fauna-rich decorations are derived from classic china patterns and adapt traditional decorative techniques, including hand painting, transfers and lots of gold.

Christopher Taylor is a previous winner of our Graduate show who has become an established ceramicist with a growing reputation. He brings together traditional ceramic decoration and contemporary abstract art. His vessels have presence and in various sizes and forms bring pleasure to his many admirers. Good to have him here again.



Penny Fowler works in cast porcelain which is the canvas for her clean, precise decoration of finely made pots. She is more interested in form rather than function and bringing together opacity with the translucency of porcelain. She describes herself as a London based potter whose work reflects 21st century living and the city in which she lives and works. She has kindly agreed to take part in this month's Makers Lunch and I am delighted that all of the available places have been taken up it should be a most enjoyable and stimulating event.

Stuart Dickens