Tuesday, 23 October 2018

THE CURATORS VIEW November/December 2018

November/December 2018
I am not known as a Christmas enthusiast but nevertheless it is a time when the gallery can provide exciting and stimulating possibilities. We have tried to ensure that our visitors will have a special experience. The group of five makers brought together for this feature have all been at Bevere before and much admired. Two of them will be joining us for the November and December Makers Lunches – more of which later.

Rowena Brown is an original maker. Her groups of houses and the isolated buildings anchored on rock-like plinths explore themes of self, solitude and community. She has developed an approach to decoration and firing that results in multi-layered surfaces. Our challenge is to show her pieces in the most effective way to maximise the presence of each edifice. 

Petra Bittl is a highly respected German potter whose work has appeared here several times.  Her ceramics are painted, scratched, inlaid with porcelain and decorated with slips. The painted elements are simple: circles, spots and lines compliment the hand built and thrown forms.  Petra's work has always been popular with our visitors and once again it is her originality and creative energy that appeals.

Masazumi Yamazaki produces quirky figurative pieces which show humans in a different light. This is work that cannot be ignored there is no middle ground here you will either love his work or hate it but you will admire his ingenuity and skill. The cultural influence is clearly Oriental but nevertheless there is a universal humanity which is expressed with skill and humour.

Yo Thom makes thrown and hand-built functional stoneware with influence from the traditions of both British and Japanese pottery and food culture. She aims to create tableware, which will become “clothes for food”.  Yo’s pots perform their function as tableware in harmony with the food whilst retaining their strong personality. Importantly, she is joining us for lunch on 3 November. I have no doubt that it will be a most enjoyable event.

Gabriele Koch is another eminent German maker living and working in the UK. She concentrates on simple forms, trying to relate equilibrium and tension, stillness and movement, expansion and the containment of volume. All pieces are hand built with a heavily grogged stoneware body and fine porcelain. Contrast of colour is produced by the colours of the clay, black and white.  I am also delighted that she has agreed to join us for the Makers Lunch on Saturday 1 December which I know will be another treat for ceramic enthusiasts.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Featured Makers Lunch, Saturday 3rd November - Yo Thom

The Featured Maker Lunch is proving to be  a stimulating experience for everyone  - and that includes our guest maker.

This month, we are delighted to be joined by YO THOM whose work has always been popular. She makes thrown and hand-built functional stoneware with influence from the traditions of both British and Japanese pottery and food culture.

Yo’s pots perform their function as tableware in harmony with the food whilst retaining their strong personality. Find out more by booking your place for the lunch which will be held on Saturday 3 November between 1200 and 1400. Tickets are £15.


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