Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hooray for collectors

This past month there has been an exhibition at Bundoora Homestead called Formed. I have been meaning to post about it for a while and now realise it finishes tomorrow. Oops. 

Here is the official synopsis...

Formed celebrates the ceramics collection of Emmanuel and the late Etta Hirsh donated to La Trobe University in 2009. The Hirshs have been dedicated collectors and supporters of the arts in Australia since the 1960’s, but their passion for collecting began with ceramics. The marriage of form and glaze influenced their choice of works, and the collection reflects the enthusiastic and sometimes eccentric and humourous taste of the Hirshs.

The exhibition features works by leading Australian ceramicists such as Greg Daly, Milton Moon, Gwyn Hanssen Piggott, Peter Rushforth and Petrus Spronk reflecting the repertoire of Australian studio ceramic practices from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. It includes early wood-fired and blackfired works, glazed eathernware, stoneware and porcelain ware.

Jenny Orchard, Black and White Woman No. c.1988

It's quite the who's who of Australian ceramicists and I had fun playing guess-the-artist, occasionally proven wrong on reading the label. It really is interesting, in retrospect, to see how the artist's were informed by each other, influenced by similar aesthetics but also constantly evolving in their individual styles.

The collection is a little 'old-school', a little kooky and a lot of joy. A beautiful catalogue has been produced, that I'm sure the homestead will have available after the exhibition closes, which includes two wonderful photos of the Hirsh's over-the-top, eclectic home. I was so pleased to read they actually used the artworks they collected. A Milton Moon platter under your casserole perhaps, followed by tea in a Gwyn Hanssen Pigott?

I really enjoyed seeing the works in Formed but the downside of exhibitions at Bundoora Homestead is that due to the heritage nature of the establishment everything is always exhibited in glass cabinets. A ceramic exhibition with no touching... I wasn't there long... too frustrated!

“The reason why Etta and I both loved ceramics – it was always our first love – was because there was the artist’s soul in the work…you could pick it up and touch it” Emmanuel Hirsh

There is another great looking show on next at Bundoora Homestead High Tea 3 Dec 2010 to 6 Feb 2011. I will hopefully have more on that one soon but please note, you have been informed in advance for a change!

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