The sun came out, the sun went in, the sun came out again... seems Clunes' weather is a lot like Melbourne's... but things sure feel a whole lot fresher in a small country town.
There was a wonderful turnout for the opening night of The Clunes Ceramic Award. Many artists, organisers, friends and locals showed their support for the event. And it really is all about support.. support for a community that in recent times has faced drought then floods and the constant battle to encourage a fully functioning economy in a rural township. Also support for Australian ceramics which strives to maintain identity with our country's smallish population and distance from more established art epicentres.
Irianna Kanellopoulou, The General (detail)
This was no grand scale exhibition and in a curatorial sense there were some areas in which it fell a little short. But this was a small community doing it's best to promote it's values and interests and there was a lot of good feeling in the room. And of course some very lovely work!
Angela Ratten, Seascape I
Lynda Gibbons, My Other Garden (detail)
Anne Mossman, Landscapes IX
As is so often the case my photography didn't do justice to the works and some of my favourite pieces are not represented here. Namely Kirsten Coelho's work... wow... a bottle and beaker in her trademark white satin glaze with rust like detail around the rim... so entirely right. Her work seems simple and minimal but is also soft and emotive, contemporary and fresh yet somehow nostalgic. There is something quintessentially Australian in her work but I think it's appeal is most likely universal. I've provided a link to her website which is quite beautiful but her pieces are all the more impressive in real life.
As are Phil Elson's (terrible image, so sorry Phil!), an artist whose work I have often extolled the values of on this blog and winner of The Clunes Ceramic Award. Hooray - another deserving recipient!
Phil Elson, In the Shadow of Gehry's Golden Fish
(Winner Clunes Ceramic Award 2011)
All in all the competition was a fascinating experience and I look forward to the shows growth and development in the years ahead.
The exhibition runs until 2 Oct and there are a few more images on my Facebook Page for those who would like to see more.