Wednesday, 21 February 2018

THE CURATOR'S VIEW - Featured Makers - 3rd to 31st March 2018



At the risk of repeating myself – once again – I am delighted that the featured makers this month maintain our reputation for diversity. That is the curatorial challenge, to ensure that each maker's work is enhanced by the contrast with other exhibitors. The individual voice of each of our chosen makers, speaks powerfully notwithstanding the  wide range of work in the gallery.
Jane Abbott is a newcomer to Bevere. She is undoubtedly a three dimensional abstract artist. The combination of slab building and inventive decoration produces pots which are bound to attract attention. Her early pots were influenced by Alison Britton and Elizabeth Fritch, potters working in the 1970’s. She is also an admirer of Ben Nicholson. However, notwithstanding such influences she has developed her own voice which is evident in the work we will be showing this month.  Interestingly, she feels that her work as a teacher of ceramics and the necessary research that this demands, acts as as a further stimulus and inspiration. I am delighted that Jane has agreed to join us on 3 March for our maker's lunch and if you would like to understand her work and its origins more closely I am sure we will be having and enjoyable and stimulating two hours with her.

Anna Silverton was last at Bevere some years ago.  She will be remembered for her elegantly designed vessels and subtle decoration. All her vases and bowls are wheel thrown. She likes to interrupt and repeat structures, through cutting, joining and reshaping on the wheel, to discover new forms and hone them. She places particular importance on the ceramic surface which she works on the wheel until very smooth then burnishes (low fired clay bodies) or polishes (vitrified stoneware bodies.) She uses a combination of incised and/or inlaid detailing to enhance volume and punctuate profile. Elegance is the word I have to use to describe her work and I am sure that this group of pieces will bring much pleasure.

Christy Keeney needs no introduction. He is the doyen of ceramic sculptors who has work in so many private and public collections. This is distinctive ceramic art which is instantly recognisable. He  sees his work as three dimensional painting. The form is built up and flattened like a canvas ready to take the drawing. When he works he tries to let the moment dictate his progress and the themes that he is dealing with are not as important to him as the overall form they inhabit. His figurative ceramics are an investigation into the human condition and his forms are stretched to the point where sculpture and drawing overlap. WE have shown his fine work over a number of years and never tire of his boundless creative energy.

Hope you will enjoy this month's makers - I know I will!!  

 Stuart Dickens





Monday, 5 February 2018

Maker's Lunch - JANE MUIR



 MAKER'S LUNCH FEBRUARY 2018
This was the first Makers Lunch of the Gallery year and it established a high standard for those to come in our future lunch programme.

        Jane Muir has exhibited with the gallery over the last few years. She has previously brought so much pleasure to our visitors with her sculptures both large and small. They are pieces that  make an immediate impact. It is their anonymity that allows us to identify for ourselves familiar individuals. Subtle colour and seductive surface textures are key elements in her work; immensely appealing but never sentimental. Importantly her work always generates a smile, which should never be underestimated in these times. It has been said that Jane's work offers an uncomplicated and idiosyncratic view of the world.
Jane gave a helpful and insightful introduction to her sculptures. She emphasised that she had always preferred making sculpture rather than other decorative or domestic ware. She enjoys drawing and painting but much of what emerges in clay comes straight to hand. The small male and female figures which she has been making for a long time started life as test pieces for her glazes which are predominantly made by her. They have clearly become a feature of her range of work and she has probably made a few thousand of them , which are spread across the world. Rather incredibly, each one appears to have its own personality!
Jane emphasised the value of discussions of this kind with ceramic enthusiasts generally as well as admirers of her work. Making is a lonely and singular activity and the feedback that comes from such contact  is supportive and helpful in terms of perceptions of her pieces whatever they may be.
She sees herself continuing to make for a long time and although she is currently exploring more abstract work currently she did not see any major shift in style. In any event her name is well established through the response to her figures and their distinctive voice and change could impact on her ability to sell her work – bearing in mind she has made a living from making and selling over a good many years.
Everyone who attended the lunch engaged so easily with Jane and the two hours spent together had considerable mutual benefit I suspect. For my part I am extremely grateful for the effort she made to join us travelling from London.
Stuart Dickens
Ceramic Curator
5 Feb 2018

Next MAKER'S LUNCH - 3rd MARCH  with  JANE ABBOTT