When placing this exhibition in the context of the 20th century crafts movement, Hans Coperís (1920-1981) name springs to mind Ė the purity and simplicity of form and the sensation of touch are similar objectives to those for which he aimed. And then there are the links to the distant past and the abstract composition of containers, for like Coper, three of the artists in this show rarely deviate from this broad theme.
The closest we get to functional pottery is with Monica Young, who taught herself the time-consuming process of coiling clay some 30 years ago. Now in her 70th year she intuitively builds stylised vessels that are massive sculptural expressions of substance and solidity. The other contributors all studied pottery at art school where creative instincts are nurtured and boundaries are dismantled.
Felicity Aylieff creates works from clay with Ďinner movementsí which explore an ancient fossilised world. These have an affinity to landmarks or milestones, though the sculptures are made independently of the space and physical conditions they may inhabit. In comparison, Julie Woods reductive sensuous proposals are more intimate, with supple curves evoking powerful organic forms. Some work appears as though made by natural forces, their smooth shapes like giant pebbles from a beach.
But Janice Tchalenko is genuinely the outsider here with a global reputation for colourful flamboyant designs applied to tableware. She is also known for her wayward explorations, and her thoughts right now are with glazed wall panels, which explore colour as a means of defining space.
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