Wednesday, June 13, 2007

pastizi and pots in Sydney

I went to Sydney on the weekend.
We packed the kids and descended on my marvellous brother and his one bedroom flat for four days. It was a huge trip but when you are an exhausted parent- artist it is really worth making the effort to do these things. It affirms the fact that there is more to life than toilet training and paying bills.

My favourite parts were pastizi with brother and sister at the Maltese Cafe in Surry Hills.

Wandering around the Harbour in Birchgrove playing our favourite game of "I could live there!" with the stone convict cottages and wooden houses overlooking the water. And ........
seeing the pots of Jane Sawyer and Andrew Halford at Freeland Gallery.

I've written about Jane Sawyer's wonderful thrown terracotta and slip vessels before. In this latest work Sawyer has captured movement in clay. The terracotta slab pots epitomize what it is to be a potter. They are thrown then cut off the base and flattened out. The firing process causes the pots to curl up again at the edges with the memory of their old shape. The finger holes in these pots create an almost violent punctuation, but when you put your fingers through them your whole hand is drawn into the vessel, through the soft, smooth texture of the slip and glaze. This drawing of the hands into the pot then creates an impetus to lift it up. These pots are so clever and funny and beautiful . An abstract drawing of tensions - pulling the wall of the pot up, flattening it out to make a platter, the drawing together of the hands through the finger holes and the final impulsive lift this creates.

The other Sawyer vessels I was very attracted to were the double walled, pillow bowls. I love the use of the hard medium of clay to create something so soft. Once again these pots seem to contain a gentle humor , playing with the viewer/user, inviting them to touch and consider the nature of the material and the relationship of this shape to the human body.

1 comment:

whitney smith said...

Looks like wonderful fun! Making time to see what other potters are doing is something we all need to make more time for... thanks for the mini-escape.