Saturday, April 19, 2008
I had such a great time meeting other artists in Melbourne. My friend Jane Sawyer convinced to me to go to Janet De Boos' exhibition at Skepsi on Swanston.
Skepsi on Swanston is a beautiful small gallery dedicated to the ceramic arts. Seeing a range of Australia's top ceramicists in a retail context where you are able to get up really close to the work and even....touch them is a great pleasure.
I was lucky enough to see Janet give an artists talk on the opening night of her exhibition. The concepts behind Janet's articulate, sensually thrown tableware are fascinating. This body of work is building on ideas about the juxtaposition of the handmade and the industrial. One set included a variety of work all with different aspects of the same industrial decal , a handthrown teapot, with hand applied decal, formed a set with cups from gift shops and bone china designed by Janet and made in a factory in China. Janet made the point that sometimes makers of artisan wares think of industry as their enemy when in reality "industrial" wares are also created by individual crafts persons albeit working within the factory context rather than the studio.
It is so important that artists talk about their work, hearing Janet's speech added an important dimension to the viewing of this exhibition for me, the ideas were so exciting and complex that the work really served as the tip of the iceberg in terms of the complete concept.
The owner of Skepsi on Swanston, Vipoo Srivilasa ceramcist extraordinaire (more on him next time!) and Janet De Boos