Christine Thacker and clay first made contact during high school days. Their work together has typically been using simple building methods, mostly coiling, with few tools and electric fired at low temperatures with plenty of applied colour. Early works were mostly figurative venturing into vessels and lately lots and lots of jugs, mostly quite large and highly decorated. More recently jugs with faces have reconnected Christine with earlier figurative themes.
Kate Fitzharris grew up surrounded by women who sewed and painted and has been seeing faces in flowery curtains and the bark of trees since she was a child. The small scale Kate employs invites close inspection and a kind of intimacy, something familiar, but not quite. Her work often incorporates other media, such as raw clay and textiles, creating tableaus of people and domestic objects. She draws on ideas of domesticity and wildness, the history of figurines and children’s playthings. Kate lives in Waitati, New Zealand.
Jim Cooper: Most often there is no concept driven desire outside of myself to make a statement or engage in some political debate. Oh, there are some images that I stitch together – things remembered or invented. Often at the time they are sort of snatched up, stowed in a subconscious recess, to reveal themselves later, according to their whim.
The making is about the work, the work is, on a good day, about challenge. In a, why, if the paint splatters on the wall are better than the paintings, don’t I just do paint splatters on the wall? This question presents itself as if I was a contestant on university challenge.
I like working, I like the intensity of working, I like excess in working, the immersion. It is in here that a personal and intimate relationship is revealed in apparent limitlessness, in here I feel weary of real world intrusions, yet in regard to the work I feel guided; I feel altered.
A very important part in all of this, perhaps the most important part, is to make work that informs for myself. It doesn’t mean that the work has another value outside of that context. I am ok with that.
Richard Parker is a long-time resident of the Far North of New Zealand and divides his time between his own workshop and a community paving project at the Wharepuke Sculpture Park in Kerikeri, NZ.
His work is often bundled and bound. Something he observed in China at the factory for ceramics residency in Fuping, Shaanxi.
He has travelled widely in Asia, having worked and exhibited in Japan, Korea and China.
His work is represented in collections all over the world.
Louise Menzies is a visual artist with an interest in ceramics, currently based in Dunedin, NZ, where she is the Frances Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago. Her cross-media practice often includes a range of materials presented within installed environments, as well as the use of other public platforms beyond that of the exhibition. Individual works often respond to particular artefacts and histories that explore past and present through attention to the way they are already represented.
“During 2018 I hope to develop a project connecting some recent experiments in ceramics with new moving image work as material guises for my current research into histories of how female experience has, and has not been, recorded. I am particularly interested in M.C. Richards and her ceramic “happenings”, and the poetry of Lyn Hejinian and Joanna Margaret Paul”.
Moyra Elliott lives in Auckland, New Zealand and is an independent curator, writer and ‘odd jobs person’ in the arts. She is recipient of the CNZ Fellowship for Craft/Object Art and was inaugural curator of the Taiwan International Biennale exhibition involving 43 artists from 27 countries. 2014 engagements included the International Academy of Ceramics Assembly in Dublin, Ireland, Kete Art Fair and Symposium in Wellington and the Objectspace Talkfest at Auckland Museum, and presentations at Peter’s Valley NJ, USA and Guldagergaard in Denmark. Elliott’s writing includes, essays, reviews, profiles and books. She is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. Her blog, addressing New Zealand ceramics, is Cone Ten and Descending Blogspot