a prize collection - Bathurst Regional Art Gallery

a prize collection - Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
Studio Ceramics from the Carillon City Festival and
Bathurst Art Prizes 1972 - 1998
Extended labels
SIMONE FRASER, Red and Black Urn (detail) (1987 Bathurst Art Purchase)
A year ago when Gallery Director Richard Perram OAM asked the Bathurst
Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guides to assist with curating a retrospective
exhibition on the Bathurst Art Prize, focusing on ceramic pieces in the Gallery
collection, the guides enthusiastically took up the challenge.
Our first step was to familiarise ourselves with the ceramics section of the
Bathurst Art Prize. We found we had 58 ceramic works by 41 artists, covering
the period of 1972-1998.
The Guides decided to group the works into three decades, the 1970s, 1980s
and 1990s, and proceeded to select the artists we would research. We became
detectives and tried to track the artists, a difficult task 44 years on. Some had
passed away; some had moved overseas; some were no longer working in
ceramics; and some seemed to elude us in spite of all our efforts.
Those we were able to contact were sent photos of their works to aid their
recall. Many of the artists commented on the enjoyment of seeing the items
again after all these years, and were able to tell us what was happening in their
lives at the time. Some were at the beginnings of their careers and had gone
on to international success; others were near the end of their careers, had
perfected their craft and were making exquisite works. Whatever their story, we
appreciated the time taken to reply to us, as all replies helped us to personalise
the works and gave them new life. We formed a new respect for ceramic artists.
We came to understand that whilst clay offers a plethora of expressive
opportunities, and the end products are often unique and magnificent, many
artists have difficulties in trying to make a living through ceramic practice.
Consider the frustration of a job where sometimes half your work is unsaleable
due to the precarious nature of clay and firing. Potters need stamina and
manual dexterity, and an intimate knowledge of the clay they work with. They
need to be dedicated timekeepers; artistic decorators; able to make moulds;
pack a kiln to minimise loss; create crates and boards; be a compounder of
oxides, a risk taker, and a salesperson in the difficult world of art sales.
Edmund de Waal in “The White Road” summed up the uncertainty:
....so when you have your basin, your jar, you must let it dry very, very, slowly. Any
dampness deep in the walls will crack the whole vessel as it is fired. Then there is
the decoration and all this is before the firing itself, at which point all the work, the
hundreds of hours are as chaff in the wind...
One of the common findings when researching these artists was how much
many of them had changed in their repertoire over the years, with some
advancing/perfecting their style, and others using different sciences to perfect
glazes or finish their works.
In researching for this exhibition, the Gallery Guides have been privileged to have
experienced continual art education. We have visited many of the outstanding
potters in our region, observing their creativity, learning about their speciality, their
resources and experiences. Also we have had access to the comprehensive records
and research by former curators and Guides.
The Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guides thank the Gallery for
commissioning the beautiful photographic work by Greg Piper included in the
catalogue, which has substantially enhanced the enjoyment of this exhibition. The
time he has taken to optimise the beauty and character of each piece is obvious. The
Guides also thank Gallery Curator Sarah Gurich, and Gallery Assistant Henry DenyerSimmons, for their guidance.
We are delighted that some of the artists have been able to return to view this
exhibition, and look forward to continuing our relationships with them.
Susanne Griffith
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Gallery Guide
(left to right): Jan White, Peter Varman, Margaret Marshall, Mary Cuppaidge (front),
Kathleen Oakes, Maureen Wells, Judith Nash, Denise Payne, Lorraine Fielding, Hilary
Stitt, Barbara Holmes. Absent: Susanne Griffith, Eilish McCarthy, Joyette SwaneFitzpatrick, Silvia Wistuba
Bowl 1983
Award: 1983 Bathurst Art Purchase
Sponsored by Bathurst City Council
Exhibition dates: 16 September – 16 October 1983
Judge/Adjudicator: Barry Pearce and Dr. Peter Emmett
“Inspiration comes first, the clay is the medium and firing the completion” – Sally
Armstrong 2016
Sally Armstrong is a well renowned local artist and has been working with different
clays and firing techniques since completing her studies in creative arts at Charles Sturt
Armstrong’s prize winning stoneware bowl from the 1983 Bathurst Art Purchase is
simplicity itself; a clear glaze smoothed over the ornate native floral design. The outer
rough stoneware contrasting with the flawless clear glaze produces the “ultimate
reward;” Armstrong describes, “it’s own beauty”.
Armstrong has had Residencies at Cowra Japanese Gardens and Canowindra, attended
many workshops participated in joint exhibitions and won championships at Shows. Sally
is an active member of Bathurst Potters Group. Her work is often on exhibition for sale at
T.arts (Tablelands Artists Co operative) in Bathurst Arcade.
Margaret Marshall
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
August 2016
19. SALLY ARMSTRONG, Bowl (1983 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Platter II 1991
Award: 1991 Bathurst Art Purchase
Sponsored by Bathurst City Council
Exhibition dates: 17 May – 30 June 1991
Judge/Adjudicator: Peter Rushforth
Ros Auld is an Australian potter based in Borenore near Orange, in Central West NSW,
specialising in slab-built, or thrown and manipulated, stoneware forms decorated with
wood ash glazes and trailed and incised slips, coloured oxides and gold lustre.
Ros Auld’s Platter II is typical of her early studio practice which was focused on salt
glazed ceramics and large painterly decorated, platters. In 1998 Ros Auld commented
of her process; “I foolishly specialise in platters.” This comment is in response to the
process of works like Platter II which come with the need for silicon carbon shelves in
the kiln to hold the work in place, these shelves then have to be chipped and ground
tediously back for days. This added trouble with plates is necessary for Ros Auld who
stated that “there simply isn’t any other way of achieving that beautiful richness and
liveliness of surface, that natural glazing and finish on the edges of forms.”
Ros Auld’s more recent work encompasses large hand-built vessels and steel and
ceramic sculptures however her practice is deeply rooted in her early fascination for
plate ware which fostered a patience for achieving the sleek slips, magnificent natural
glazing and earthly finish that are present in Platter II. Ros Auld once commented on her
adoration for the plate as a medium stating “The plate is like a canvas – a simple shape
where the decoration can be dominant although somehow not as self-conscious as a
canvas painting.”
Suzanne Griffith
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
August 2016
1. BRAG [2010] Ros Auld Ceramics 28 September-18 November 2012 [Catalogue]
2. Mansfield, J. [Ed] (1988) Ros Auld; Why choose salt? Pottery in Australia; December 1988, Vol 27, No
4, p43
3. Clayton, J. [2016] Ros Auld from Janet Clayton Galleries website; [email protected]
[as accessed October 2016]
4. Haynes, P. [2015] Art; Overland by Ros Auld and Tim Winters at Queanbeyan’s Form Studio and
Gallery. In Canberra Times; published October 21 2015
38. ROS AULD, Platter II (1991 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Shrine with Donor and Saints 1993
1995 Bathurst Art Purchase,
Sponsored by the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Society
17th March – 17th April 1995
Judge/Adjudicator: Michael Keighery
Stephen Benwell is one of Australia’s most distinguished ceramicists. He received a
Diploma of Art from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1974, a Diploma of Education
from Melbourne State College in 1976 included studies in Ceramics under Professor
Noel John Flood and a Masters of Fine Arts from Monash University in 2005.
This medium became the basis of his art practice, Benwell stating ‘I moved sideways
into craft and pottery as a way to find a surface, a form, that I could put my painting onto.’
His work marries studio based investigations of the ceramicist with the painterly and
sculptural concerns of the contemporary artist.
At around the time Shrine With Donor and Saints was created, Benwell had begun
investigating 18th Century figurines. The drawn-on feel of the painterly decorated shrine,
the cartoonish saints and the imaginative design of the structure, typifies Benwell’s
infatuation of eyeing the classical through the present.
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guides
49. STEPHEN BENWELL, Shrine with Donor and Saints (1995 Bathurst Art Purchase)
3 Pierced Bowls 1995
Award: Bathurst Art Purchase 1995
Purchased on advice of the adjudicator
Exhibition dates: 17 March to 17 April 1995
Judge/Adjudicator: Michael Keighery
Sandra Black has been creating small porcelain vessels intricately carved and pierced
to perfection since her very early days as a ceramicist. Her technique is exemplified
in Three Pierced Bowls; the use surgical blades and small electric drills to pattern the
leather hard porcelain allows the light to penetrate into and illuminate her delicate
creations. Porcelain is sensuous to the touch both during the making and the finished
Black seldom uses a glaze, stating, ”it looks too shiny, life is fragile, I want my work to
reflect this”.
In 2014 Black took part in a residency in Jingdezhen, the porcelain capital of China which
signifies a constant infatuation for working with porcelain. It is a place of pilgrimage for
international ceramicists and the city is famous for it’s Kaolin Clay that has been used for
thousands of years.
A full time artist since 1975 Black has had 31 solo shows and participated in over 250
group shows.Her works are held by major and regional galleries in Australia, U.K.,
U.S.A., Japan, Canada, Netherlands and New Zealand.
Always interested and active in Education Black currently holds a part –time position at
Curtin University in Perth.
Margaret Marshall
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
August 2016
50. SANDRA BLACK, Three Pierced Bowls (detail) (1995 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Stoneware Jar 1972
Award: 1972 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Wilson Stinson Regional Ceramic Prize, gift of Mary Abbott Roberts
Exhibition dates: 17 March – 17 April 1995
Judge/Adjudicator: Mr. and Mrs. A Tuckson
Michael Conolan’s work includes platters, bowls, pots and vessels, his work covering
over 50 years as a potter and more recently his body of work includes domestic
tableware. From 1972 Conolan’s coarse Stoneware Jar is an example of an experienced
potter continuing to hone his craft. The roughly textured wheel thrown stoneware body
is emblazoned with early Irish decoration and finished with a magnesium glaze before
being fired under high temperatures. Techniques Michael would’ve learnt to master
whilst studying pottery under Peter Rushforth at East Sydney Technical College.
In his final year he found he wasn’t keen on being an Art Teacher. Peter Rushforth
encouraged him to apply for the position of ‘clay boy’, working behind the scenes.
Michael said, “Peter Rushforth was a great mentor and great person to work for.” Alan
Peascod was also a good friend.
Money worries forced Michael to go back teaching. He taught at Bathurst Teachers
College, then on the South Coast before returning to Bathurst to teach at St Stanislaus
College. In 1975 he received a grant, so he ceased teaching and went to live in Rylstone,
where he built a wood kiln. One slab of beer a week paid for his rent. 1975-78 he taught
at TAFE in Bathurst and Mudgee as well as The Scots School Bathurst.
In 1985 Michael bought a small property near Hampton, and taught pottery classes
near the Hampton Hotel. Anna Culliton had her first pottery classes here with Michael.
Michael had a brief job with a large pottery establishment employing ten people in Dubbo
and he was producing 300 mugs a day on the wheel. It was a production line, with others
adding the handles. It stopped when the travelling became too much.
Michael continues to work from his studio at Hampton, using his wood and gas kilns and
firing with local potters Lise Edwards and Margaret Ling.
Barbara Holmes
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
August 2016
1. MICHAEL CONOLAN, Jar (1972 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Etched Lustred Vase 1991
porcelaineous clay
Award: 1991 Bathurst Art Purchase, Sponsored by Bathurst City Council
Exhibition dates: 17 May – 15 November 1991
Judge/Adjudicator: Peter Rushforth
Lustre Platter 1991
porcelaineous clay
Award: 1993 Bathurst Art Purchase, Sponsored by Southern Mitchell Electricity
Exhibition dates: 7th August – 5th September 1993
Judge/Adjudicator: Grace Cochrane
Glaze on Glaze Decorated Bowl 1998
Award: 1998 Bathurst Art Purchase, Sponsored by Uncle Ben’s
Exhibition dates: 5th September – 18th October 1998
Judge/Adjudicator: Bill Samuels
Cowra based Greg Daly is an internationally renowned ceramic artist specialising in
rich glaze effects and the author glazes and glazing techniques. Exquisite gold lustre is
laid over the vividly colourful glazes and enamel highlights this clay thrown vase, which
catches the eye as it reflects light from all angles.
Daly began working with Lustre Glazes in the early part of his career and in the last
14 years has developed techniques, experimented with and written books about lustre
glazes; a process he describes as involving the laying of a metallic surface (gold and
silver) over glazed fired pots and other forms of Ceramics. It is a form of Alchemy,
turning changing metal into glowing, iridescent surfaces that respond beautifully to
changing light. Many of his designs and decorations are deemed to have an eastern
influence and Lustred Vase is no exception.
Peter Varman
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
39. GREG DALY, Etched Lustred Vase (1991 Bathurst Art Purchase)
44. GREG DALY, Lustre Decorated Platter (1993 Bathurst Art Purchase)
55. GREG DALY, Glaze on Glaze Decorated Bowl (1998 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Blossom Jar 1973
Award: 1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on the advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 26 September – 9 October 1974
Judge/Adjudicator: Bernard Sahm
Bowl 1974
Award: 1974 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 25 September – 8 October 1974
Judge/Adjudicator: Kenneth Hood
Peter Dobinson began his potting career in 1968 when he took night school lessons from
Rudolph Dybka at the Gladesville Hospital. In 1969 he worked full-time at the Ceramic
Architectural Studio Dybka Tichy at Parramatta. Later, working independently from his
home, Dobinson was one of the major suppliers to the Argyle Arts Centre, Sydney.
When he exhibited in the Carillon City Festival Art Prize in 1973 and 1974 he was at the
start of his most productive years. At that time he also exhibited his work at the Hayloft
Gallery in Bathurst.
In the lead up to this exhibition Dobinson was contacted and happy to describe his 1974
Bowl for BRAG; “The clay is likely one from Feeney’s in Ipswich that they called ‘Buff
Raku’ at the time - a highly grogged stoneware type that had a lot of ironstone content,
hence the vast amount of bleed-out iron. The glaze was a fairly simple ash glaze that I
made up, and used on much of my work at the time. It was actually made of ash from the
log fireplace in our house, with around 30% raw china clay, plus some silica and feldspar,
but no oxides. The cut decoration was an attempt at a freehand bamboo- leaf look.”
Peter Dobinson’s career in ceramics has been long and varied. He has incorporated
business pursuits such as a vineyard in the Hunter Valley, restaurants in Coffs Harbour,
a wine shop in Canberra and teaching at A.N.U. while always continuing to pursue his
passion for ceramics.
Denise Payne
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
August 2016
7. PETER DOBINSON, Blossom Jar (1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
13. PETER DOBINSON, Blue Matt and Ash Bowl (1974 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Stoneware Jar and Lid 1972
Award: 1972 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on advice of the judges
Exhibition dates: 7 September – 10 October 1972
Judge/Adjudicator: Mr and Mrs A.Tuckson
Mollie Douglas was a modest inspirational potter and teacher renowned for the
meticulous finish of her hand thrown pots. She enjoyed experimenting with clay
techniques and glazes, often digging and mixing together her own found raw materials.
This experimentation is evident in the strikingly unique Stoneware Jar and Lid from 1972
with its unorthodox form, plaster like surface finish and combination of glazing styles.
The prize winning Stoneware Jar and Lid is typical of her work, simple in shape, perfectly
glazed and designed “for use in this time and place” she said. Many similar works are
held in State and Regional Australian Galleries.
After winning a scholarship to East Sydney Technical College in 1939, where she
intended to study Painting and Drawing, she discovered pottery and changed courses in
1940. She won the Top Student Medal and began teaching at her old school, Abbottsleigh
.Douglas continued teaching and establishing courses at Technical Colleges in Sydney
until her retirement in 1989.
Douglas along with Peter Rushforth, Ivan McMeekin and Ivan Englund established
the New South Wales Potter’s Society in 1955.Douglas was first Secretary and then
President of this group.
She represented Australia at the first World Congress of Craftsmen held in New York in
Mollie Douglas was involved in the training of many well known Australian potters
between 1950 -1980. She never referred to them as” her students”, preferring the term”
our students.
Margaret Marshall
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
August 2016
2. MOLLIE DOUGLAS, Stoneware Jar and Lid (1972 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Stoneware Bottle 1974
Award: 1974 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 25 September – 8 October 1974
Judge/Adjudicator: Kenneth Hood
At the time of this Award in 1974, Ivan Englund was teaching at his school, the Ivan
Englund Pottery School at The Rocks, in Sydney 1972-1977.
Much of Ivan’s body of work shows a regard for Japanese traditional ceramic finesse and
glazing techniques and Stoneware Bottle 1974 is not dissimilar. The wheel thrown vessel
has been freely and masterfully decorated a with red and mauve brushwork motif over a
traditional white glazing.
Born Liverpool NSW, Englund studied drawing and painting & received a Diploma at
East Sydney Technical College in 1951. He taught Art & Ceramics in Victoria, Canberra
& Wollongong. Was one of the four original members of Potters Society of Australia,
formed in 1956. He did extensive research on glazes and published books and articles on
his work. Later Englund moved to Walcha, then Bawley Point NSW, where he worked as
a full time potter. In 1995 Ivan Englund received a Doctorate from Wollongong University
for his work on middle-fire glazes.
Barbara Holmes
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
August 2016
14. IVAN ENGLUND, Blue Stoneware Bottle (1974 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Stoneware Bottle 1974
Award: 1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 25 September – 8 October 1974
Judge/Adjudicator: Kenneth Hood
Australian potter and painter, Patricia Englund made this stoneware form in the studio
that she shared with her husband, Ivan Englund, at Mount Kembla in New South
Wales. Englund’s work reflects a Japanese influence and an interest in the pots of
ancient civilizations and the copper hues and colours from pink to blue, such as those
exemplified in Stoneware Bottle, were achieved by controlling and manipulating the
atmosphere in kiln.
A studio potter and painter, Patricia Englund studied painting & drawing at Julian Ashton
Art School, before she took pottery lessons at the Wollongong Technical College. In
Wollongong she met her future husband, the pottery teacher, Ivan Englund. Patricia
would go on to teach pottery at the National Art School for 10 years
At the time Stoneware Bottle was made Patricia Englund was becoming well-known for
her wheel-thrown stoneware and large porcelain forms, platters, bowls & bottles which
favoured her brushwork, and showing a deep respect for Japanese ceramic traditions
which would continue throughout her body of work. Englund was also known for her
experimental work with glazes, many of which were based on South Coast igneous rock
flows. She also produced ceramic jewellery, and was an accomplished and admired
painter, especially for her pen & wash works.
Following her death in 2004, Patricia Englund left a bequest of $300,000 to NSW Art
Gallery Foundation and based on this was made an honorary Foundation Benefactor. She
also bequeathed a significant collection of jewellery and ceramics to the Art Gallery of
New South Wales.
Barbara Holmes
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
August 2016
15. PATRICIA ENGLUND , Stoneware Bottle (1974 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Mundaroo Series 2 1983
coloured porcelain
Award: 1983 Bathurst Art Purchase, Sponsored by Bathurst City Council
Exhibition dates: 16 September – 16 October 1983
Judge/Adjudicator: Barry Pearce and Dr. Peter Emmett
Untitled slab 1985
coloured porcelain
Award: 1985 Bathurst Art Purchase, Sponsored by Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Society
Exhibition dates: 18 October – 17 November 1985
Judge/Adjudicator: Mr Carl Andrew
Sydney based Merran Esson has two works in this exhibition, both entered the permanent
collection at BRAG through the Bathurst Art Prize; Mundaroo Series 2 and Untitled slab in
1983 and 1985 respectively. Bathurst was one of the few galleries offering prize money for
ceramics in the eighties and Merran Esson says she was truly encouraged by the purchase of
her work. Esson would go on to be a frontrunner in Australian Ceramics for many years. She
has exhibited extensively in both solo and group shows and has won many awards including a
residency at The National Arts School’s Paris Studio in 2005.
Following the completion of study at Caulfield Institute of Technology, the National Art School
and Monash University Merran began teaching. She taught at many esteemed colleges
including Edinburgh College of Art in Glasgow, and the Academy of Fine Art in Beijing. She is
currently Head of Ceramics at the National Art School in Sydney.
Mundaroo Series 2 was part of a group of pieces made between 1981-83 and was inspired by
the form of a small lidded bottle owned by artist at the time. The function has been altered
by the addition of decorative pieces alluding to “thunder and lightning” experienced by her
when living at Mundaroo, the family farm in the foothills of The Snowy Mountains.
Merran Esson Untitled slab is the more recent work being exhibited. The vibrant and almost
fantastical clay slab was inspired by visiting castles and gardens in Scotland, where Merran
was fascinated by the markings on the flat surfaced sundials. Esson went on to make a
“Sundial Series” and a “Gnomon Series”.
Her recent works are large scale, which evoke sensory responses through colour and form.
She makes colourful buckets and tanks, many dented and pierced, not too far from her early
influences of farmland at the foot of the Snowy Mountains where she lived as a child. She
says I am still fascinated by farm detritus and have a desire to see my work installed in the
landscape as much as possible. Most recently some of Merran’s works were selected in 2016
for inclusion in Sculpture by The Sea, a far cry from the snowy mountains her works were
located on a headland overlooking the ocean.
Margaret Marshall
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
August 2016
20. MERRAN ESSON, Mundaroo Series 2 (1983 Bathurst Art Purchase)
29. MERRAN ESSON, Untitled Slab (1985 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Red and Black Urn 1983
dry glaze ceramic
Award: 1987 Bathurst Art Purchase
Sponsored by the Art Purchase Committee
Exhibition dates: 16 October – 15 November 1987
Judge/Adjudicator: Anna Waldman & David Williams
Simone Frazer has been creating pots for a little over 40 years, creating often larger scale
works on a wheel and by using a flamethrower and gas bottle to stiffen the clay as she
forms individual pieces. This technique was part of her education under Alan Peascod at the
Canberra School of Art in 1978.
Simone Frazer’s Red and Black Urn could be seen to have a Mediterranean influence like
much of her other work; it is vessel based and plays with classical forms. Her glazing
technique of building up a multitude of layers of slips, oxides, dry glazes and of multi-firing
each piece suggests a reflexive interest in materiality and an infatuation with the passage of
Simone has been consistent over a long period of time in using the colours and patterning on
her vessels which are the connections to similar textures in the natural world and by her own
interpretations of the physical world in her life experiences and the landscape, a specially
the coastal areas, with its multi textured and richly coloured surface.
Her intervention in the medium is obvious in the wheel thrown forms and the manipulation
by hand ribbons of rocky encrustations, signs of weathering rocks to produce a wonderful
articulated surface.
She has said; “my role as an artist is not to define what beauty is, but question what has been
in the past, while also bringing new elements together and pushing into new ways of seeing
beauty subjectively.”
Peter Varman
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
36. SIMONE FRASER, Red and Black Urn (1987 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Blue Vase 1993
Award: Purchased from Bathurst Art Prize 1993
on the advice of the judges
Exhibition dates: August 7th – September 5th 1993
Judge/Adjudicator: Grace Cochrane
At the time he entered the Bathurst Art Purchase in 1993 Gibson was teaching at Orange
TAFE and often entered his works in the Bathurst Art Prize during this period. Peter Gibson’s
Blue Vase from 1993 is made from stoneware clay, fired to 1300c. The cool hues in the glaze
suggest some eastern influences and this particular type of glazing is often referred to as
Chun or Jun in the Chinese tradition of delicate iron blue glazes.
Peter Gibson completed 3 years’ training at the National Art School in 1980. He continued his
career as a potter while teaching ceramics at the Orange TAFE (1984 - 2001). He resigned
from teaching in 2001 to establish his vineyard, Word of Mouth, on the slopes of Mount
Canobolas, Orange. The vineyard also has a small gallery space that features contemporary
art and photograph. Peter has gladly returned to making pots after a decade of inactivity and
sells his work from his vineyard.
Since 1993 Peter has moved on to producing purely functional pieces, mainly bowls and
He participated in group shows in Sydney 1976 - 84 and solo and group shows in country
NSW 1984 - 93. These included Spirit, Place, Identity at the Orange Regional Gallery in 1993
and Cooramilla, part of the Open Gardens Scheme in 1998.
Denise Payne
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
45. PETER GIBSON, Blue Vase (1993 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Untitled I 1985
Award: 1985 Bathurst Art Purchase, Sponsored by Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Society
Exhibition dates: 18 October – 17 November 1985
Judge/Adjudicator: Mr Carl Andrew
When Kate Grant entered the 1985 Bathurst Art Purchase we know at that time she would
often create streamlined, geometric porcelaine sculptures similar to Untitled I. We were not
able to find any more information about Kate Grant.
What we do know is that porcelain is one of the harder clays to work with and maintain its
If you have any information about Kate Grant then please inform a member of the gallery
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
30. KATE GRANT, Untitled I (1985 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Anonymity 1973
Award: 1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 26 September – 9 October 1973
Judge/Adjudicator: Bernard Sahm
Victor Greenaway entered two works into The Carillon Open Ceramic Award in 1973; the
other was entitled Bureaucrat. In the year he won this prize Greenaway was charging
forward; preparing for the opening of his first studio the following year and a Churchill
Fellowship to Japan.
Speaking about Anonymous from his home in Orvieto, Italy, Greenaway writes:
Firstly, it is a delight to see the piece after all these years. I cannot recollect the
circumstances regarding the purchase of the piece, but remember the time it was produced
which was very early in my career, just before I went on the Churchill Fellowship to Japan in
Secondly, I recall the environment during that time which was during the Gough Whitlam
years and a great deal of optimism both within the arts and on the world stage. The Vietnam
war was coming to a close. The Americans had finally pulled out of the war and our troops
were coming home.
As my skills developed in throwing on the wheel as a production thrower, I turned those
same skills into making a series of sculptures. There was also a desire to make some sort of
social commentary based on what had taken place in world events and the state of politics in
At that time it was common for me to be throwing repetition pieces in the order of 200- 300
small items a day. I had developed the “split flanged goblet” which was thrown in one piece
(I claim to have raised my two daughters on the strength of these goblets). They were very
popular and designed to be made economically.
The sculptures were using the same method of throwing the “split flange” which was all
thrown in one piece. The heads were in one section and the body thrown separately, to be
joined at the “leather hard” stage. Each piece was then characterised by various modelling
additions, with some having additional materials incorporated, such as the smoky acrylic
mask attached to this one, obscuring the vision altogether. This particular piece was glazed
on the top half using a stoneware ash glaze fired in a reduction atmosphere to 1300oC in an
oil kiln.
Victor Greenaway continues to be an internationally renowned artist represented widely in
public and private collections both within Australia and overseas. From 2007 he has been
resident in Orvieto, Italy; creating new works; organising master classes and ceramics tours.
He also still maintains a painting and ceramic studio in East Gippsland, Victoria.
Susanne Griffith
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
8. VICTOR GREENAWAY, Anonymity (1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Lamp 1983
Award: 1983 Bathurst Art Purchase
Sponsored by Cuneo’s Galloping Grape Restaurant
Exhibition dates: 16 September – 16 October 1983
Judge/Adjudicator: Barry Pearce and Dr. Peter Emmett
Martin Halstead completed a Diploma of Visual Arts at Canberra School of Art in 1982 and a
Diploma of Education at Sydney College of Advanced Education in1987. When he entered the
Bathurst Purchase Prize he was the Assistant to the Curator at the Canberra School of Art
In 1986 he was awarded the prize for the best work of ceramicists under 26 years old from
the Concorso Internationalle della Ceramica D’Arte in Faenza, Italy.
Halstead has combined his ceramics career with teaching in the school of Art and Design at
the Orange TAFE and 1988 -2013 in the School of Arts and Media at the Moss Vale College of
Halstead’s Lamp is made from Bendigo stoneware fired to 1200c with slips and dry glaze
that appear to have scratched and faded the limestone colour and texture of the work in to
the rustic, metallic final form that it takes on.
Janet Mansfield quoted Halstead’s description of his working methods in her book, A
Collector’s Guide to Modern Australian Ceramics: Working needs honesty and time...With
Abstract work I need to take time to develop the shapes and motifs so that they retain
meaning and strength within the context of the work ...Working can be lonely, frustrating
and yet rewarding with emotions ranging high and low but I am always learning and building
on what I have learnt.
In the same book Peter Haynes wrote: Halstead’s decoration forces the viewer to move
around the work at once appreciating the subtleties of colour and line which constitute the
formal components of the decoration.
Halstead has exhibited regularly since 1982 - including in Orange, Sydney, Manly and the
Narek Gallery at Tanja near Bermagui. In 1989 he was commissioned by the Queensland
Performing Arts Trust to produce his iconic Instrumental Suite. In 1992 he was Artist in
Residence in the Lakeside Studio in Michigan USA.
His work is held by Bathurst, Orange, Manly, Newcastle and la Trobe Regional Art Galleries,
by Artbank, Sturt Gallery Mittagong and internationally in galleries in Italy, USA, Germany
and Hawaii.
Susanne Griffith
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
21. MARTIN HALSTEAD, No Title (1983 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Still Life 1993
ceramic (set of 5 pieces)
Award: Acquired through 28th Bathurst Art Purchase 1993 sponsored by
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Society and purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 16th September to 16th October 1983
Judge/Adjudicator: Grace Cochrane
Gwyn Hanssen Pigott OAM was an Australian ceramic artist. She was recognized as one of
Australia’s most significant contemporary artists. By the time she died she was regarded as
one of the world’s greatest contemporary potters. She worked in Australia, England, Europe,
the USA, New Zealand, Japan and Korea. In a career spanning nearly 60 years, influences
from her apprenticeships to English potters were still apparent in her later work. But in the
1980s she turned away from production pottery to making porcelain still-life groups largely
influenced by the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi.
Gwyn Hannssen Piggott was born in Ballarat where she grew up and went on to study
a Bachelor of Arts before becoming infatuated with pottery and undertaking her first
internship with pioneering potter Ivan Mc Meekin at Sturt Pottery in Mittagong NSW. Mc
Meekin inspired Hanssen Piggott and she would later cite him as her greatest influence
and was very grateful for sharing “A Potters Book” by Bernard Leach with her which would
remain a constant source Hanssen’s inspiration. Mc Meekin also gave her a lifelong
appreciation and understanding of the basic of ceramic beauty in materials and firing,
Hanssen saying “He didn’t just look at pots he studied their most intimate details.” After
honing her craft in the early years of her career with Mc Meekin, Gwyn moved to England in
1958 which was where she first found the notoriety that would snowball for the rest of career.
She became Australia’s most distinguished potter, creating a new language for ceramics
through her idea of Groupings. Gwyn received the medal of the order of Australia. Followed
by a rare retrospective at the national gallery of victoria, where 50 years earlier she had first
fallen in love with ceramics.
After the death of her first husband Gwyn went to live in The Loire valley France for a few
years before returning to Tasmania where she married John Piggott and continued to have
solo shows in Britain, US, Germany,Canada , Switzerland,Japan,Italy and Australia.
In 2002 she made her last move to a studio in Ipswich, Queensland.
Mary Cuppaidge
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
47. GWYN HANSSEN PIGOTT, Still Life (1993 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Coffee Set (pot with 4 cups, 4 saucers) 1983
Award: 1983 Bathurst Art Purchase
Sponsored by Commonwealth Banking Corporation
Exhibition dates: 16 September – 16 October 1983
Judge/Adjudicator: Barry Pearce and Dr. Peter Emmett
Large Bowl (set of 5) 1985
Award: 1985 Bathurst Art Purchase, Sponsored by Bathurst Regional Council
Winner Art Gallery Society Award
Exhibition dates: 18 October – 17 November 1985
Judge/Adjudicator: Mr Carl Andrew
Patsy Hely’s love affair with ceramics began with her grandmother’s porcelain china
collection. She went on to study ceramics at East Sydney Technical college and was involved
in establishing the Glebe Estate Workshop which included a gallery for clay workers.
In an article in Craft Australia in 1983 she says she does not think Art Deco was a creative
and innovated time in pottery but she is attracted to its sense of relationship between
decoration, form and colour; I am influenced by Art Deco buildings, their embellishment and
independence. They seem to have more personality than other architectural styles.
In the 1990s while a senior lecturer at Lismore campus of Southern Cross University, Hely
developed her interest in porcelain, exploring ideas of light, transparency and mutability.
In 2003 Hely moved to Canberra to obtain her PhD in ceramics and teach at the Australian
National University.
In Canberra she was strongly impressed by the change in her natural surroundings, using
twigs and sprigs collected while walking in the area to decorate her work, she also became
interested in birds.
She began working with white earthenware clay and underglaze colours and slips.
She is especially interested in making and decorating functional ports because I feel that
the use of these can enrich one’s life. I also like the boundaries that function imposes;
having some rules makes the aesthetic and technical problem solving more interesting and
Most of her work is cast in clip. She finds the making of moulds time consuming, she
revelling in the variety of effects obtained. She says; porcelain is lovely to handle, and I like
the look of it. I like its transparency, but not just that, I love the density of it. Also it is so
much more serviceable than earthenware.
She is very interested in traditional ceramic decoration, especially 18th Century European
work, and likes to make work where the decoration has a relationship to the present day.
Her painted birds are not done as ornithological illustrations - they are impressions only.
Hely is frequently quoted as having said, It seems to me to be a luxury to be able to earn a
living from something that I love to do!
Hely has two works that are being exhibited from the permanent collection. The two ceramic
sets were acquired through the Bathurst Art Prize; Coffee Set (pot, 4 cups, 4 saucers) in 1983
and Large Bowl 1985 (set of 5) in 1985 which won the Bathurst Art Society Prize for that year.
22. PATSY HELY, Coffee Set (1983 Bathurst Art Purchase)
31. PATSY HELY, Bowl Set (1985 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Hilary Stitt
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
Lattice Bowl 1983
Award: 1983 Bathurst Art Purchase
Sponsored by Cuneo’s Galloping Grape Restaurant
Exhibition dates: 16 September – 16 October 1983
Judge/Adjudicator: Barry Pearce and Dr. Peter Emmett
Michael Keighery completed an Arts/Law degree in 1970 but soon realised he was more
interested in the Arts than in becoming a solicitor. After working as an administrator at the
Adelaide Jam Factory he completed a BA degree at the Sydney College of the Arts (1980 -82).
In 1983, when he entered the Bathurst Art Prize, he was lecturing in ceramics at both
Newcastle C A E and the City Art Institute.
Frances Kelly wrote about Keighery in the Sydney Morning Herald 7/5/1983: Keighery
represents one of the new breed of artist craftsmen tending away from making useful pots,
heading more into conceptual art, articulate about the messages of his work, very serious
about the craft scene, its polemics and potential.
Since then Keighery has had a most distinguished career in mixed media, ceramics and
performance art. He is collected, respected and exhibited nationally and worldwide. His work
is included in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of
WA, Powerhouse Museum, Artbank, Taipai Fine Arts Museum and many regional galleries.
Keighery has also been a prominent arts educator and policy maker. From 2003 -2007 he
was Head of the Fine Arts Program at the University of Western Sydney, National President
(Australia) International Association of Art and Chair of the National Association of the Visual
In 2015, to commemorate the centenary of Gallipoli, Keighery created The Dead Man’s
Penny Exhibition at the Watson Arts Centre in Canberra. The ceramic scrolls and other
works were inspired by his great uncle, Frank Keighery, who had died at Gallipoli. His family
had been one of the more than 1.3 million families who had been sent the King’s Medal
during WW1. This medal become known as the Dead Man’s Penny.
For more details of this haunting exhibition see https://www.youtube.com/
Lattice Bowl has been created using the slip-casting method. Keighery described the
process: A solid lump of clay was thrown and trimmed upside down on the potter’s wheel.
When the clay was firm plaster was poured over the clay. Once the plaster was set the
soft clay was removed and the plaster became the mould for the bowl. The casting slip
- porcelain was then poured into the mould. The plaster absorbed the water out of the
porcelain. When the “shell” was thick enough the excess slip was poured out of the mould.
When dry, the casting was bisque fired to around 1020 C. The bowl was then carefully
sandblasted through a plastic mesh to achieve the lattice effect. The bowl was then sprayed
with a clear glaze and refired.
Denise Payne
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
23. MICHAEL KEIGHERY, Lattice Bowl (1983 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Lidded Box 1983
Award: 1983 Bathurst Art Purchase
Sponsored by Bathurst City Council
Exhibition dates: 16 September – 16 October 1983
Judge/Adjudicator: Barry Pearce and Dr. Peter Emmett
When Susan Laurent entered the 1983 Bathurst Art Purchase we know at that time she
would often work create slick, geometric porcelain boxes and containers similar to Lidded
Box. We were not able to find any more information about Susan Laurent, only traces and
photographs of a few of her works during this time.
We do know however that porcelain is one of the harder clays to work with and maintain its
shape. To create a box with extra sides, precise corners and corner mount would be no easy
task. Lidded Box is masterful in style and form and Laurent’s ceramics may be somewhat
unrecognised but not underappreciated, the gallery is lucky to have such a work in the
If you have any information about Susan Laurent then please let the gallery know.
Susanne Griffith
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
24. SUSAN LAURENT, Lidded Box (detail) (1983 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Five Crowns, Holding Five Fish 1991
Acquired through the Bathurst Art Prize Purchase 1995
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 17th March – 17th April 1995
Judge: Michael Keighery
Brigiat Maltese completed a Bachelor of Education Degree at the City Art Institute, UNSW
(1984 - 1987), where her tutors were Peter Traves, Marea Gazzard and Patsy Hely. She then
completed post graduate studies in Visual Arts at UNSW focusing on painting and drawing
(1989 -1991).
At the time Five Crowns was created Julianne Campbell interviewed Maltese for Ceramics
Art and Perception No 15, 1994. Her article, aptly titled, The Fresh Face of Brigiat Maltese
stated: On almost every piece striking self-portraits appear. Dark almond eyes, arched
brows and loopy locks cover the surface of Maltese’s hand-coiled pots alongside animals,
plants and an array of motifs and designs hinting at her Slovenian background.
The motifs on Maltese’s amphora-shaped vases are influenced by her own life experiences,
classical Greek and Roman patterns and Spanish and Italian folk ware.
Maltese said: My pieces have a strong relationship to the traditional clay vessels from
Europe and figurative South American vessels.
Maltese told Campbell about her desire to decorate her works: My parents’ house was full
of ornaments and every piece of material was embroidered or decorated in some way.
Maltese’s first works were slip cast with surface ornamentation similar to the techniques
of Jenny Orchard and Patsy Hely. She later preferred traditional hand-building techniques
of coiling, joining and cross hatching; Hand made things have a sense of soul, a sense of
irregularity that I like. She decorated the ‘greenware’ with a combination of commercial
underglazes and stains. After bisque firing the pieces were covered in a matt glaze and
Denise Payne
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
51. BRIGIAT MALTESE, Five Crowns, Holding Fine Fish (1995 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Container (with Ball Lid) 1974
Clay Raku Fired
Award: 1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 25 September – 8 October 1974
Judge/Adjudicator: Kenneth Hood
Janet was born in Sydney. She became interested in pottery as a young mother, attending
evening classes, then studying ceramics at the National Art School, East Sydney
Technical College, during 1964-1965, working with experienced potters such as Peter
Rushworth and Mollie Douglas.
Janet’s first exhibition was at the Alladin Gallery in 1968, which resulted in Peter
Rushworth inviting her to join the Potters Society.
In 1970 Janet helped lead the first Australian Ceramic Study Group to Japan. She
commented There is so much for a potter to learn in Japan, as their dedication is legendary.
Raku is a type of Japanese pottery, where the fired raku pieces are removed from the kiln
while still glowing hot and are allowed to cool. It is raku’s unpredictable results and the
intense colours it produces that attracts modern potters.
In 1975 Janet worked with Paul Soldner in America and was introduced to salt glazing.
Janet’s first wood fired kiln for salt glazing was designed and built by herself. She was
drawn to the flashes of red, orange and yellow shadows it produced. Janet believed that a
good pot should show the process itself.
In 1977 Janet moved with her family to Gulgong, where she continued to make salt
glazed, wood fired vessels, using local Gulgong clays. She was one of Australia’s most
revered wood-firers and her work is represented in major public collections in Australia
and overseas.
Janet was the recipient of many awards. In 1987 she received the Order of Australia for
her ongoing work to promote ceramic art. She also received the Australia Council for the
Arts Emeritus Award in 1990. This is a distinction awarded to few Australian artists in
any medium. Janet had 30 solo exhibitions in Australia, Japan and New Zealand and was
also involved in group exhibitions in more than 20 countries. She has written and edited
a number of books on Ceramics. She also was editor and publisher of the international
high quality journals “Ceramics Art and Perceptions” and Ceramics Technical”.
Janet Mansfield’s achievements add up to several lifetimes worth. She is remembered
as a revered potter, exhibitor, writer, editor and publisher, judge and jurist, diplomat and
16. JANET MANSFIELD, Container (with ball lid) (1974 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Maureen Wells
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
The Passing of Grey Rain 1983
Award: 1983 Bathurst Art Purchase, Sponsored by Cuneo’s Galloping Grape Restaurant
Exhibition dates: 6 September – 16 October 1983
Judge/Adjudicator: Barry Pearce and Dr. Peter Emmett
Large Geomorphic Vessel 1998
Award: Acquired through the Bathurst Art Prize Purchase 1998
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 5th September – 18th October 1998
Judge/Adjudicator: Bill Samuels
Jeff Mincham entered The Passing of Grey Rain into the 1983 Bathurst Art Prize he was
a highly revered Australian potter and Head of the Jam Factory Ceramics Workshop in
Adelaide. Towards the end of his time at the Jam Factory, Mincham had started to create
large raku jars like this piece. Raku is a Japanese process where low fired earthenware
is taken from the kiln while still very hot, placed in masses of combustible material to
reduce the oxygen atmosphere for the glaze and stain the exposed surface with carbon
and then cooled very quickly. It is spontaneous, theatrical and unpredictable, producing
effects that are impossible to reproduce. Mincham was infatuated with Japanese
aesthetic of ‘chance beauty arising from unpredictable effects of the raku process’.
Mincham continued with his interest in raku until the 1990s when he changed to working
largely with mid fired clays.
In an article, “The Vessel Triumphant”, Jeff Mincham writes of a pot he had seen: ‘if I had
any doubts about the power of the vessel as an expressive form they ended right there. Quite
simply, this powerful gesture in clay was immutably a clay vessel, out of the long tradition
of the vessel, but spoke of modern human experience with immense energy’. He could have
been speaking about his own work. Mincham’s works exert a presence that is imposing,
technically sophisticated and eloquent.
Kathleen Oakes
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
26. JEFF MINCHAM, The Passing Grey of Rain (1983 Bathurst Art Purchase)
56. JEFF MINCHAM, Large Geomorphic Vessel (1998 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Female Effigy I 1995
Award: Acquired through the Bathurst Art Prize Purchase 1995
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 17th March – 17th April 1995
Judge/Adjudicator: Michael Keighery
Fiona is an artist working in Melbourne, with an extensive exhibition practice over
more than thirty years. She characteristically uses hand-forming techniques, her work
is usually functional and in vase form, whilst retaining a sculptural quality. Three of
Fiona’s works are featured in this exhibition from the collection and are exemplary of an
emphasis on the natural world and female forms that run throughout much of her body
of work. Her studio materials and hand-forming processes express the physicality of the
natural world: earth, water, fire and air.
Blue Vase (1987) is Fiona Murphy’s first work entered in the Bathurst Art Prize.
Decorated with rich colourful slips the vase is both sculptural and functional. It is hand
built, and the softened angularity sits within the S curve. Fiona Murphy is inspired by
the natural environment and says of this piece- Blue vase is a sculptural interpretation
of Australian native plants like the Grevillia and the Banksia. I employ the S curve to evoke
plant like growth. One may see a new plant that has burst from the seed pod and is
growing toward the sun. The cobalt blue sky illuminated by the sun’s golden rays which
are featured in the concave surfaces of the vase.
Both Female Effigy I and Female Effigy II entered the collection through the Bathurst Art
Purchase Prize in 1995. These beautifully crafted pieces evoke elegantly simple feminine
forms and each one is unique but not separate from the other. Each piece has been hand
formed in a coiling fashion from thin strips of clay slab. They are further shaped with
a wooden paddle. Their surfaces scored then covered with a white slip. This creates a
subtle criss-cross pattern on the surface. Additional scattered scoring of the slip reveals
the colour of the clay underneath. Both pieces are exquisitely finished with a satin glaze.
Fiona Murphy states that the Female Effigies are biomorphic forms. Minimalist in design,
they contain the concept of containment.
Fiona is an artist working in Melbourne, with an extensive exhibition practice over more
than thirty years. Fiona gained a PhD in Visual Art from Australia’s Monash University in
2013. Awards include the City of Hobart Art Prize in 2005 and a Yerring Sculpture Award
in 2004. A survey exhibition of Fiona’s ceramic sculpture was held at the National Gallery
of Victoria in 1991. International exhibitions include SOFA Chicago 2000/2001. Public
collections include: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Bank
Australia, Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of South
Australia and the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Private collections are held in Asia,
Europe and USA.
Currently Fiona Murphy continues to express her passion, and concern for our
environment. Her sculptural installations of the coral reef, (Reef Lab 2013) and icebergs
(Melt 2013) are some of her recent works that demonstrate the impact of human activity
on the environment.
Eilish McCarthy
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
37. FIONA MURPHY, Blue Vase (1987 Bathurst Art Purchase)
52. FIONA MURPHY, Female Effigy I & Female Effigy II (1995 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Teapot 1983
Award: 1983 Bathurst Art Purchase
Sponsored by Bathurst City Council
Exhibition dates: 16 September – 16 October 1983
Judge/Adjudicator: Barry Pearce and Dr. Peter Emmett
Michael Newberry’s formal studies in ceramics were in the Associated Diploma ceramics
course at Mitchell C.A.E in 1983-4. This course was directed at studio practise and
included clay and glaze technology, electric and wood fire kiln technology, design and
Teapot (1983) is a precise work evoking an antiquity that is difficult to achieve. The teapot
has been wood fired without a glaze resulting in a course grained clay body. Its warmth
of colour is a direct result of the sympathies imparted by the deposited ash and flame.
Finished with a handle that is reminiscent of the aged aesthetic of the stoneware.
We have been unable to find any more information on the artist from 1983 and since. If
you have any information about Michael Newberry then please inform the gallery.
Lorraine Fielding
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
25. MICHAEL NEWBERRY, Teapot (1983 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Jenny Orchard is the most prominent artist in this exhibition with five of her works being
shown that entered the collection through the gallery’s purchase and prize exhibitions from
1983-1993. Expressing the connected nature of all life and matter is at the core of Jenny
Orchard’s art practice. Her work references the places in which she has lived and lives
as well as her fascination with European tradition, African and Aboriginal mythologies,
Australian contemporary culture and the environment. Jenny’s ceramic ‘creatures’ and vases
are formed using earthenware clay. Each one of her works possesses a unique personality
and defiance of convention. As Jenny explains, “Each image or ceramic forms a story on
its own, but the narrative running through all of them is that of accelerated change, chance
encounters and the suggestion of parallel realities.”
Jenny explains that her early work teapot (1983) was about ‘having fun with form’ and ‘was
made from casts of kitchen utensils, a funnel and some steel cake decorating devices. I like
the idea of re-creating domestic objects.’ She explains that she ‘was influenced by the Italian
Memphis design movement of the 1980’s and talking heads music‘.
Jenny Orchard’s other work from 1983 Neo Deo urn (also known as Jug or Vase) reveals
Jenny’s structural engineering background as you look at the straight lines, complete shapes
and angles. The vase is ‘alive’ and the intrigue is in the name. Jenny explained; ‘The Neo
Deo urn was 33 years ago, can’t believe it’s that old! My daughter was born that year and I was
on top of the world. Deo is a synonym for the Greek goddess Demeter, representing agriculture
and fertility, so it was a new or neo urn for her’. Since this time Jenny has made hundreds of
objects and passed them on to others. Bathurst is privileged to own this very sentimental
work in the collection.
Jenny Orchard’s 1985 teapot (and lid) is more traditional, plump and sturdy than her three
legged teapot from 1983. Whilst still evoking a sense of play and fun it is more like something
you might see in someone’s kitchen in everyday use at that time. The dramatic patterning
on the teapot is the unusual feature of this teapot. A thick black stripe drapes the pot like a
beauty queen’s sash and a dense black box on the lower edge is suggestive of a door. The
density is softened by the gentle stars and dots and swirls, all complete in themselves.
Jenny explains that her 1985 Vase ‘was from a series I made, angular and flat at the same time.
They were influenced in part by the love of Zulu drawings and house decorations. The face is
based on Grace Jones, I was a big fan at the time of both Grace and Keith Haring with his murals
and wild drawings. Keith came to Melbourne and Sydney in 1984 I loved his graphic style, it
made a strong impression on me.’ In 1984 the New York artist and social activist Keith Haring
body painted Grace Jones the Jamaican singer, songwriter and model and Jenny’s work is
reminiscent of this marriage of form and style.
In 1993 Jenny had been working in her art field for a couple of decades and she was able to
experiment and play with clay with a degree of reinforced confidence. Madame Butterfly is a
colourful and bizarre example of her beautiful figurative work during this time. Jenny herself
says ‘Madame Butterfly was just being playful, I had just started to make more figurative work
and explore colour and texture’.
46. JENNIFER ORCHARD, Madame Butterfly
Born in Turkey, Jenny grew up in Zimbabwe and immigrated to Australia in 1976. She studied
at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in 1980. Jenny has
exhibited widely in Australia and has participated in shows in Japan, Germany, Italy and the
USA. Her work has been extensively acquired and is represented, amongst others, in the
collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Queensland
Art Gallery, Art Gallery of South Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria.
Susanne Griffith
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
Tall Bottle 1973
Award: 1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 26 September – 9 October 1973
Judge/Adjudicator: Bernard Sahm
Alan Peascod is one of Australia’s most highly acclaimed ceramic artists, who
specialised in experimenting and developing unusual glazes and firing techniques. Alan
studied ceramics in Australia and Britain in the mid 1960s. He would later receive a
PhD at the University of Wollongong in 1995. He had been researching Islamic pottery
throughout the Middle East and Europe since 1972 and incorporated some of its
technologies into his own sculptural and vessel-based work, developing a characteristic
red and silver lustre on a black background.
Tall Bottle 1973 could just as easily be inspired by traditional Islamic pottery as it could
be from another world with its reduced sunburn-red copper glaze are reminiscent of
the surface of a faraway planet. Strange and faintly etched markings that reside on both
faces are only visible in a certain light seem almost alien and the bottle is finished with
organic folds of clay around the lip of the small opening. Many of Peascod’s works were
vastly different from one to the next and Tall Bottle certainly has its own definitive style.
Amongst other similar positions during his career, Alan was head of the ceramics
department at the Glasgow School of Art from 1985–86. He was awarded eight research
fellowships throughout his career. In 2002 he received an Australian Foundation for
Studies in Italy Grant to work with Giampietro Rampini in Gubbio, where he researched
16th century majolica techniques, which he added to his repertoire.
Alan Peascod is remembered as one of Australia’s most highly regarded potters. Also
as an influential teacher, mentor and friend to many in the ceramics community of
Australia, especially in the places where he lived and worked, the Illawarra, Canberra
and later Gulgong.
Hilary Stitt
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
9. ALAN PEASCOD, Tall Bottle (1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Decorated Urn 1987
Award: 1987 Bathurst Art Purchase
Sponsored by Rothmans Foundation Principal
Exhibition dates: 16 October – 15 November 1987
Judge/Adjudicator: Anna Waldman & David Williams
David Potter was born in Melbourne and worked as an apprentice boiler maker before
being accepted into a Diploma of Ceramics at the Caulfield Institute of Technology
(Monash University) in 1976. He then went on to obtain a Diploma of Fine Art (Ceramics)
in 1980 and a Graduate Diploma of Fine Art (Ceramics) in 1981 at RMIT. In 1982 he
completed a Graduate Diploma in Education. After winning the Bathurst Art Prize in 1987
David would go on to receive a Master of Fine Arts degree by research from RMIT in 1995.
Although, classically beautiful in form, David Potter’s large Decorated Urn, exudes a
forceful & raw energy and presence through its sheer size, ridges & furrows and unique
scratched surface pattern. David is known as a ‘poetically brutal clay artist for his
sensual lines and tormented surfaces’. Potter’s work is also known for its fascinating
surface texture and patterning, inspired by his interest in ancient cultures, ethnographic
metaphors of the past and modern technological ways of communicating.
Decorated Urn is wheel thrown and characterised by its intense lapis lazuli blue and dark
black slips underplayed by the earthly raw clay. When this pot was recently photographed
for this exhibition by the talented Greg Piper, the BRAG Curator, Sarah Gurich, noticed
that a form of another pot can be seen emerging from the surface pattern and texture.
Can you see it too?
Peter Westward, painter and friend of David’s, of Potter’s work that it ‘is made with such
a sense of urgency through such a forceful process, that it appears at times to have a
sense of clumsiness in aspects and a great deal of rawness. It despises wimpy sensitivity
and porcelain - like delicacy. But it has many sophisticated subtleties in the way it looks
and is read. Wherever one’s eye and body happen to wander around his work, everything
contributes to the total effect. Scripts & scribbles suggest the ancient city life of the
Byzantines and the Egyptians’
David Potter passed away in 1997 at the age of 42.
Barbara Holmes
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
35. DAVID POTTER, Decorated Urn 1986 (1987 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Round Out 1972
Award: 1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 26 September – 9 October 1973
Judge/Adjudicator: Bernard Sahm
Ron Rowe described his work at this time as ‘ceramic sculptures....constructed from
thrown forms that consisted of spheres, hemispheres, rings and cylinders. They were
whimsical space age forms with titles that revealed their presence. Titles were…No Milk
Today, Ring Balls, Hot licks, I Can’t Hear You and Round Out amongst others.’
Ron Rowe trained as an art teacher at the South Australian School of Art where he
received tuition in clay, both pottery and sculpture. At that time there was no separate
Department of Ceramics or full time course in ceramics. He attended a further three
years of night classes under British artist Bill Gregory who taught a non-functional,
conceptual approach to ceramics that he found appealing. Round Out 1972 was made
soon after his return home from three years working in London and New York. At the
time of making this work he was Lecturer in Sculpture at Torrens CAE School of Art,
Adelaide. He continued as a Lecturer at the South Australian School of Art in Stanley
Street, North Adelaide, then at the School of Art at Underdale and later became a Senior
Lecturer in Digital Studies at UNISA, City West Campus, until his retirement.
The 60s and 70s in Adelaide were a time, for some ceramicists, to extend the boundaries
of ceramics as a way of expressing ideas (‘from frivolous inventions to symbolic
statement to abstract aesthetic concepts’ rather than following the established,
functional, Japanese inspired pottery tradition promoted by English ceramicist, Bernard
Leach. They were, instead, influenced by the ‘funk’ ceramic movement centred on San
Francisco, which drew its inspiration from the freedom and counter culture of the 60s.
Funk can best be described as ‘sculptural work that combines a Pop Art sensibility with
the history of ceramics as a decorative art’. This regional ceramic movement was later
dubbed ‘Skangaroovian Funk’ for a retrospective survey held at the Art Gallery of South
Australia in 1986. It was a term derived from ‘Skangaroovia’, an alternate name for South
Australia suggested by Daniel Thomas, the then Director of the South Australian Art
Ron Rowe wrote about his work during this time: ‘I like to oppose the natural tendency of
clay by making forms geometric, symmetrical, basic and repetitious, with a completeness
that could only have been made by man. These early ‘Out Series’ sculptures, with obvious
machine overtones, relate to man-made objects. It is my intention to make the forms almost
perfect, but as they are made separately they acquire their own individual characteristic.’
Ron Rowe developed his work further in sculpture and later digital art and web design.
He is represented in collections throughout Australia and continues to exhibit both here
and overseas.
10. RON ROWE, Round Out (1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Kathleen Oakes
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
Storage Jar 1972
stoneware, salt glaze
Award: 1972 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 27 September – 10 October 1972
Judge/Adjudicator: Mr and Mrs A. Tuckson
The late Peter Rushforth began his pottery practice more than 50 years ago when his
preferred technique of wood-firing was in its infancy in Australia. Rushforth served
in the armed forces from 1939 to 1945. He was held as a Prisoner of War in Changi
and Burma, returning to Australia at the end of the war. He first became interested
in potting while studying at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, under the
Commonwealth Reconstruction Scheme which was established to provide training for
returned servicemen. After fine arts training, Rushforth moved to Sydney in 1950, where
he became a full time Ceramics teacher and then head of the Ceramics department from
1952 until 1978. Peter moved to a studio at Church Point NSW in 1966, and then later to a
studio in Shipley in the Blue Mountains to practice pottery full-time.
Rushforth was influenced by his knowledge of traditional Chinese and Japanese pottery
techniques and came to an appreciation of the Japanese Mingei (folk) aesthetic which
he studied in Japan. His work also had strong Australian influences such as colours of
the landscape and use of local clays and feldspar; influences which can be seen in Jar,
Salt Glazed 1972. Rushforth mostly made wheel thrown pots that are beautiful in their
simplicity. Rushforth preferred to work with a fifty year old kick wheel, made from a
crank shaft with a kick bar and a heavy fly potting wheel.
Rusforth believed that definitions for what makes a ‘pot’, varies as much as the life styles
that people pursue; some like the classical styles of traditions past, others like any
experimenting and the excitement that comes with any irregularity that occurs in the kiln
as an act of nature.
Peter Rushforth’s work is represented in Regional, State and National Galleries as well
as a large representation in many overseas countries and private collections. He has
participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Australia and overseas including:
the10th International exhibition of Ceramic Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington,
1956; the first solo show of Australian Pottery to be shown in Japan, 1975; and in major
retrospectives at the National Gallery of Victoria, 2013 and S.H. Erwin Gallery, 2014.
Awards and commendations include the Churchill Fellowship award, 1967; the Bathurst
Art Prize, 1972; the Order of Australia Medal in 1985, for service in the Ceramic Arts; and
the Australia Council Emeritus Fellowship, for 50 years as a potter, 1993.
Peter Varman
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
3. PETER RUSHFORTH, Storage Jar (1972 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Flattended Pot 1972
Award: 1972Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Winner Open Award
Exhibition dates: 27 September – 10 October 1972
Judge/Adjudicator: Mr and Mrs A. Tuckson
At the time of the 18th Carillon City Festival Art Prize Sydney born Bernard Sahm
was gaining recognition as a talented Australian potter, building his body of work
characterised by hard, strong and vitrified stonework, a style exemplified by Flat Ended
Pot 1972. Sahm would later describe his body of work ‘in general as a bias towards social
realism tempered with humour and experience.’ Now considered as one of Australia’s
most innovative and thought provoking ceramic artists, Bernard Sahm studied at
East Sydney Technical College, with practical training in both commercial and studio
workshops in Australia and Germany before coming to Crowan Pottery. Sahm negated
the idea of focusing on technique, believing that technique was simply a means to an
end. He gave the example that ‘Being obsessed with technique is to be involved in a
minor thing. It’s like someone watching a cricket match and concentrating on the way the
bowler holds the ball. The major thing is the whole game-whether it is being played in
such a way that it enriches the person involved or even the spectator’.
On the face of Flat Ended Pot 1972 the eye is drawn immediately to the capital ‘T’ symbol;
beautifully shaped and blackened with pinwork surrounds. Why has the artist included
this symbol? Was the symbol Baroque or maybe the Greek Tau meaning life; trinity
and divine grace? Without clues, Sahm keeps us guessing.He once explained that his
work is an ‘attempt to add some significant quality to man’s existence; and man’s personal
development. My own and, if possible, somebody else’s-rather than just make things for
Later in 1973, Sahm would be the adjudicator at the next and nineteenth Carillon City
Festival Art Prize and in 1974 he was appointed the Inaugural Head of Ceramics at the
newly developed Sydney College of the Arts a position he held for 10 years before retiring
to Laguna, near Wollombi with his wife Pam where they set up a new studio on their
property. Bernard Sahm is represented in ceramic collections in state galleries and
overseas. His obituary stated that ‘His work came to parody the pomposities, conformities
and absurdities of contemporary society.’ The art critic James Gleeson once wrote ‘his
work elegant, strong, never dull, much like the man’.
Susanne Griffith
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
4. BERNARD SAHM, Flattended Pot (1972 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Shaping Spirit 1974
Award: 1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 25 September – 8 October 1974
Judge/Adjudicator: Kenneth Hood
Earth Contours (aka Emerging Ripple) 1974
Award: 1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 25 September – 8 October 1974
Judge/Adjudicator: Kenneth Hood
Joyce Scott was born in England and migrated to Adelaide in 1951 and has two works
featured in this exhibition that were both acquired through the Carillon City Festival Prize
in 1974; Earth Contours and Shaping Spirit. Encouraged by her mother to draw, from
an early age, Joyce eventually studied sculpture, life drawing, print making and wheel
thrown ceramics at the south Australian school of art. Scott was hooked when she began
exploring the hand building possibilities of clay, saying ‘how fascinating it felt, pressing,
pulling and squeezing a malleable ball of clay into endless shapes and textures opening up a
plethora of ideas ‘.
Joyce liked the idea of large uncomplicated forms with thin walls and the works exhibited
here from 1974 reflect and were inspired by the Australian landscape. Celebrating the
vitality of the land, Scott’s works reflect a duality of reality she describes as both ‘looking
outward and looking inward at the essence of life. Joyce reflects on the conceptualising
of these two works saying ‘This was an exciting time as I could see ideas everywhere.
I remember my garden spade cutting trenches into the soil creating undulating brown
waves which contrasted against the flat surrounding earth. This sculpture became “Earth
Contours.” As my circular piece began to take shape it so lifted my spirit that I called it
“Shaping Spirit.” Quite naturally my work became imbued with a unique Australian feel. As
time passed my creative ideas became more sculptural as I carved and cut into a variety of
textural surfaces, inspired by an abundance of nature’s own treasures.’
Joyce says that recognised and acknowledged in 1974 with the Carillon Festival Ceramic
Award was important and gave her the encouragement to follow her own desires and
pursue a career of creative endeavour. The Judge of the award Kenneth Hood described
her as ‘a potter of major talent who manages to combine a feeling of massiveness with a
sense of lightness and elegance.’
Joyce is represented in the National Australia Gallery , Canberra , and has won awards
in Japan. She has also exhibited in prestigious Galleries such as the Bonython and
Holdsworth Galleries and has had 10 independent exhibitions. Stephen Skillitzi, lecturer
of ceramics at the South Australian School of Art, described Joyce as ‘a ceramic artist
with significant vision’.
Mary Cuppaidge
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
17. JOYCE SCOTT, Shaping Spirit (1974 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
18. JOYCE SCOTT, Emerging Ripples (1974 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Slab Pot 1973
Award: 1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 26 September – 9 October 1973
Judge/Adjudicator: Bernard Sahm
Stephen Sktillitzi made his first ceramic piece at nine years of age and from 13 years he
was producing pieces using a home-made pottery kiln.
Slab Pot is a complex stoneware piece. It is composed of two convex shapes joined at
the sides. With its swathe of blue, translucent, liquid glaze it evokes a marine quality.
One could perhaps visualise it by the sea. The bi-valve form is also connected internally
by several hollow ceramic tubes. Many of the tubes have openings at the front and back
permitting the viewer to peer through. The rear varies slightly with multiple clay pieces
that fan out from the rim creating a tessellated effect. The sculptural nature of the piece
is consistent with Skilllitzi’s motivation to be a ‘sculptor rather than a vessel maker’.
Skillitzi says ‘This 1973 stoneware pot was created when I was teaching Ceramics at
Woollarah Art School, Sydney. My teaching philosophy was to ‘lead from the front’ by
working alongside students… that’s the Art experience I had when at high school from 1960
and later when studying in USA university Art Schools in the 1967-1970. Using swirling
curvaceous textural cut-through circles of differing sizes juxtaposed with smooth areas is a
career-long repeated theme…perhaps echoing moon craters. Sculpture within the world of
Utility is a liberating nexus.’
Skillitzi was an innovative figure of the Crafts Movement of the 60s and 70s focusing
firstly on clay then glass. While he was studying and lecturing in USA from 1968-1970,
Stephen Skillitzi started to embrace glass as an art form. Since then he has had a long
and productive career in glass, and pioneered studio glass practice in Australia. In 2015
he was awarded the Ausglass Medal for his contribution to Australian Studio glass.
Stephen Skillitzi readily acknowledges that ‘a lot of techniques for my preferred medium,
glass, have evolved from my clay background.’
Stephen Skillitzi is represented in all National and State Galleries and many Regional
galleries, as well as overseas including several USA Museums.
Eilish McCarthy
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
11. STEPHEN SKILLITZI, Slab Pot (1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Raku Form I 1972
Award: 1972 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Highly Commended
Exhibition dates: 27 September – 10 October 1972
Judge/Adjudicator: Mr and Mrs A. Tuckson
Earthenware II 1973
Award: 1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Open Award Winner
Exhibition dates: 26 September – 9 October 1973
Judge/Adjudicator: Bernard Sahm
The loose flowing, wavy, organic forms that decorate Penny Smith’s Raku Form 1 are
reminiscent of sea creatures, volcanic lava flows or an architectural facade by Gaudi.
The work is hand-formed with a spherical basic shape and decorated with neck frills,
reflecting her pleasure in the handling of the clay and experimentation with the plasticity
of the material. The remarkable appearance of the surface of this work is a result of
the raku firing reduction process (or smoking), where the pot is placed in containers of
combustible materials which blackens raw clay and causes surface crazing with exciting
and unpredictable effects.
Penny Smith says of the work she produced at that time: ‘Through the exploration &
exploitation of hand processes came the appreciation of the ‘living ‘ sensuality of the material
that I felt so strongly during the manipulative processes. The necessity to ‘contain’ this freedom
rapidly became apparent to me, if loose organic forms were to be avoided. Qualities imbued in
me by the design training started to emerge.......the aesthetic of repetition, adoption of certain,
mechanical approaches to achieve clean, uncluttered lines. Colour was of little importance,
preference being for the natural colours of various clay combinations, as dictated by firing
Since producing this early hand fashioned, natural clay-coloured and raku fired ceramic
in our collection, Smith’s later work changed markedly. It was influenced by her ecological
activism, residencies in Barcelona, where she was influenced by Art Nouveau buildings
especially the work of Gaudi and a residency at Arabia Pottery in Helsinki, Finland, known
for its innovative design and beautiful tableware.
Penny Smith, although born in Germany, spent much of her childhood and youth in England
where she initially trained at High Wycombe Technical College in furniture design in the late
60’s. Through this training she developed a commitment to form, function and process, a
commitment that distinguishes her work to this day. She migrated to Australia in 1970 and
was self-taught in ceramics. In 1974 she was teaching pottery at adult education classes
at the Hobart College of Advanced Education and later went on to become Head of the
Ceramics Studio at the Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania.
Penny Smith has had a distinguished career as a ceramicist, writer, and lecturer and her
works are exhibited nationally and internationally.
5. PENNY SMITH, Raku Form I (1972 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
12. PENNY SMITH, Earthenware Two (1973 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
Judith Nash
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
Large Jar 1985
wood-fired terracotta
Award: 1985 Bathurst Art Purchase
Sponsored by Bathurst City Council
Exhibition dates: 18 October – 17 November 1985
Judge/Adjudicator: Mr Carl Andrew
Tim Strachan’s impressive earthenware work Large Jar is crafted from unfiltered
terracotta and carefully emphasises balance and form. The raw terracotta offsets the
shadowy tonal swirls of black and grey which were achieved by placing different types
of seaweed between the pots once they were in the kiln. The swirls billow around the
jar imbuing it with an otherworldly quality. Strachan says that his ‘wood-fire pieces have
a freedom of surface finish which is dictated by the flame of the kiln, like shade of our
emotions.’ Strachan has also stated that this work exemplifies that he was ‘inspired
by ancient wood fired ceramics’. He also reflects that connecting to his spirituality has
influenced his art practice and ‘allows him to bring beautiful and meaningful pieces into
other people’s lives’.
At the time Large Jar was entered in to the Bathurst City Art Prize in 1985, Tim was also
well known for his beautiful porcelain pieces with crackle glazes and skilled brush work.
He worked prolifically at the time, on once producing 99 small jars in a day. His platters
and tableware were in high demand around Australia during this period.
Tim trained at the Jam Factory in Adelaide under Jeff Mincham in 1980-81, following
a certificate course in ceramics. When he finished school Tim Strachan went left
the city for the countryside and did a variety of work from cattle farming to leather
making. Strachan continues to work today from his studio in the Adelaide Hills. While
still creating ceramic pieces he has extended into painting and combining paint and
terracotta. He has also branched into video and film making. Tim Strachan has had
numerous solo exhibitions and is represented in a number of State and Regional
Eilish McCarthy
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
34. TIM STRACHAN, Large Wood Fired Jar (detail) (1985 Bathurst Art Purchase) SANDRA TAYLOR
Dance of Indecision 1993
Award: Acquired through the Bathurst Art Purchase1985
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 7th August – 5th September 1993
Judge/Adjudicator: Katrina Lumley and Grace Cochrane
Sandra Taylor graduated from East Sydney Technical College in 1966 where Peter
Rushforth had been one of her tutors. She then had a career of teaching for 26 years
at secondary schools and TAFE Colleges in Sydney and at the Sydney College of the
Arts. She moved to Northern NSW in 1982 where she taught at TAFE Colleges while
establishing a cattle breeding property. In 1992 she taught ceramics to Aboriginal
students at Malabugilmah near Grafton.Her works are held in many regional collections,
in all state galleries and in the National Gallery.
Dance of Indecision had been exhibited in her Yarns from the Bush exhibition at the
Macquarie Galleries in Sydney in 1992 before entering the 1993 Bathurst Art Purchase.
Robyn Tudor once wrote that ‘Sandra Taylor is one of Australia’s most significant
ceramic artists...Irony, satire and a peculiarly homespun sense of wry humour transform
her ceramics into poignant visually communicated social commentary. Her choice of
subject matter celebrates the rural character. She captures the raw Australian essence,
the powerful and particular character of its people. Her drawings of dogs, dingoes,
cattle, fish and dead trees form part of a narrative.’
Taylor described her coiling technique saying that coiling ‘brings you closer to the clay
eliminating the need for tools and simplifying the making process. It allows the pot to
grow and respond to the maker’s hands.’
Taylor described the conceptualising behind Dance of Indecision and the importance of a
works title:
‘The title, Dance of Indecision, was very important. At the time I ran a cattle property and
there was a drought. Having experienced the devastating effects a drought can have on a
herd of cattle I was faced with taking another huge risk or selling the herd. This was my
“Dance of Indecision”. It was a tortuous sort of dance. I’d run out of money so couldn’t count
on hand-feeding the herd. If I sold the cattle I was admitting defeat. I’d left the city 10 years
or so earlier and embarked on a very different path, not knowing one end of a cow from
the other! I was now at the crossroads. The dance was excruciating. I rang for the trucks
to take the cattle to the saleyards. I was defeated but the cattle would stand a chance...
Titles of works have always been important to me. They seem to help me make sense of
the confusion of life and add an edge to my work. My work has always reflected my life
Taylor had her last ceramic show in 1996 after being awarded an Australian Fellowship.
She is currently working on a retrospective exhibition of her work at the Grafton Regional
Gallery in 2017.
Denise Payne
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
43. SANDRA TAYLOR, Dance of Indecision (1993 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Parrot Teapot 1991
Award: Winner of Cash Chapman Memorial Award at the Bathurst Art Purchase1991
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 7th August – 5th September 1993
Judge/Adjudicator: Katrina Lumley and Grace Cochrane
Martine Troy’s Parrot Teapot was the winner of the Cash Chapman Memorial Award at
the 1991 Bathurst Art Purchase. It exemplifies a love of vibrancy, fun and nature that
runs throughout much of her work.
Martine would often work in themes and completed series of usable domestic pieces
and utensils. She made a large range of works featuring colourful birds, animals, fish,
flowers, faces and human figures .Her pet poodle featured in a series of platters on a
bright yellow background. One judge at the time of the Art Purchase was full of praise for
Martine and remarked that her ability to draw on a curved surface appeared similar to
that of Picasso.
As a child Martine showed a constant creative urge, always drawing, painting, making
clay objects, writing and sewing. She wrote and illustrated a children’s book, remade Op
Shop clothes into fashionable wearables and was a passionate gardener.
Martine completed a Graduate Diploma Art and Art Teaching, followed by Diploma of
Creative Arts at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga and Bathurst. She continued her
ceramics whilst teaching at Lithgow High and lecturing in Art Teaching at CSU. Martine
has works in private collections and galleries in Australia, Mexico and United States.
Poor health has prevented Martine from continuing a productive life as an artist of
extraordinary talent. Shirley Troy, a fellow artist and former colleague of Martine’s at
Charles Sturt University says, ‘Martine could see possibilities to create all her life, and was
ever ready to share her skills and her ideas.’
Margaret Marshall
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
40. MARTINE TROY, Parrot Teapot (1991 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Where I live – Spirit House 1991
Award: Acquired through Bathurst Art Purchase1998
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 5th September – 18th October 1998
Judge/Adjudicator: Bill Samuels
Moira studied Functional Pottery at Armidale TAFE in 1984 followed by several courses
at Wollongong and Bega TAFE. She exhibited in various shows from 1985 to 2000. Most of
her work appears to have been shown on the far South Coast of NSW, at Bega, Cobargo
and Canberra.
Moira’s ceramic vase titled Where I live – Spirit House appears to be a hand coiled pot.
Ambiguous symbols of animals and figures pattern the vase, like a pirate’s treasure map
it even has directions scrawled in to it. Inscribed on the work are the following words
‘Turn left at Cobargo bridge, wander now up the mountain. Turn left at Old Creek Road. Left
again.’ These mysterious though explicit directions may be describing how to find the
Spirit House, appearing to suggest where Turnbull was living at the time the vase was
Unfortunately Moira Turnbull has been difficult to track down, adding to the mystery
surrounding this beautiful treasure from the BRAG collection.
Please inform a member of staff at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery any information about
Moira Turnbull.
Barbara Holmes
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
57. MOIRA TURNBULL, Where I Live - Spirit House (1998 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Two Jugs 1995 / Three Jugs 1995
Award: Acquired through Bathurst Art Purchase Prize 1995
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 17th March – 17th April 1995
Judge/Adjudicator: Michael Keighery
In the late 70s, after graduating in Science from Melbourne University, Prue Venables
travelled to the UK to study music. However, after attending classes in pottery, she
redirected her life and says ‘when I first touched clay, I was instantly diverted from science
and music into a world of making. I had no choice but to follow this path’. After studying and
working in a pottery studio in London she returned to Australia in 1989. In London her
work was characterised by highly decorative surfaces, back home in Australia a growing
interest in simplifying forms and reducing their dependence on surface decoration led to
a radical change in her work; ‘I made the decision to move away from the soft fragility of
earthenware to the clear, hard, ringing translucency of porcelain. New approaches to making
emerged….New forms developed.’
The simple forms of the vessels in both Two Jugs and Three Jugs belie the technical
complexity and painstaking work required to achieve their elegance and delicacy. ForThree
Jugs the vessels were thrown without a base and after some drying but while still soft
(timing is important here and depends on the climate) pushed into shape. A base is cut
out using the jug to measure and then carefully joined. The handles are shaped when soft
and attached when leather hard/nearly dry. Throughout this process the piece is smoothed
and excess trimmed. After drying the jugs are glazed and, in this case, a fine cobalt blue
line painted to accentuate the changing planes. They are packed into a gas kiln for firing to
1300 degrees centigrade, under reduction (reducing the amount of oxygen).
The same can be said for Two Jugs, the forms look simple and refined but the making
process is laborious and complex. The forms were thrown initially on the wheel and then
reshaped while still soft. The bases are added when leather hard. The pieces are reduction
fired (reducing the amount of oxygen) in a gas kiln. For every 20-30 pots Prue Venables
makes, 10 will be of acceptable quality.
Prue Venables is interested in placing her pieces together as a way of creating dialogue
and narrative and perhaps also as a reference to her earlier interest in the pauses,
rhythms and harmonies of music. ‘I enjoy the way in which objects alter the space around
them, at times enlivening, at times bringing a sense of stillness.’
The initial influences on her work come from her childhood. She has recalled being
thrilled by an illicit play with her mother’s small opaque white glass jar of cold cream and
the reverence and ceremony of her grandmother’s bone china tea service. The jugs may
start as functional objects, their clear lines reminiscent of industrial production, but the
slightly askew forms create sculptural objects that appear both traditional and modern.
The fall of light and luminescence provided by the porcelain and glaze give the objects
great calmness and purity. The jugs transcend their ordinary everyday use to become
ritual objects for contemplation, In 1995 Kevin White of Pottery in Australia wrote that
‘Prue Venables’ pots have always been finely made, and like their maker serious and gentle.’
In the same year, Prue Venables won the prestigious Fletcher Challenge Ceramic Award in
New Zealand with a group of three jugs. The judge, Takeshi Yasuda, noted ‘such simplicity
is hard to achieve, free expression is much easier. They are very quiet, they don’t shout out
loud, but once you notice them, they are very difficult to ignore.’
Kathleen Oakes
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
53. PRUE VENABLES, Three Jugs (1995 Bathurst Art Purchase)
54. PRUE VENABLES, Two Jugs (1995 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Peter Wilson has two works that entered the collection at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
through the Bathurst Art Purchase Prize in 1991 and 1993 respectively. Jar won the
Cash Chapman Memorial Award in 1991 and two years later Earthwork II was selected
for purchase. In the early 1990s Peter Wilson was vigorously experimenting with new
textures and forms and developing some of his signature glazes. He described it as a
period of prolific growth and production.
Peter explained that in 1991 when Jar was made that he ‘had been using iron and chun
glazes since 1983 and loved the variety of glaze qualities that you could get, ie; purples
through to light blue to white are possible depending on the variables as mentioned,
thickness of application, temperature and kiln atmosphere are all variables as well as
the ingredients of the two glazes, the tenmoku and chun so controlling these variables
was crucial to consistent results but even then, variability was always part of the processakin to gambling!’. Tenmoku is stoneware glaze which is deeply stained by iron oxide.
Tenmokus are usually dark brown and black with some rust patches, but occasionally
they are yellow, green or purple ‘Chun’ or Jun’ is pale blue, opalescent stoneware glaze
named after a town in northern China where it was first made in the 11th century. The
Jun glaze is related to a celadon glaze, being a feldspathic glaze on a buff body and fired
in a reducing atmosphere.
Two years later, Peter Wilson entered the Bathurst Art Purchase Prize successfully again
with Earthworks II. He reflected on this period saying ‘At that time, I was studying with
Owen Rye, a major ceramic artist at Monash University and had met many other ceramic
artists all working with him, so there were many new ideas to which I was exposed, wood
firing, raku, and ideas from many sources. I also had commenced working with John Olsen
who was living at Rydal and we had begun a collaboration which lasted 7 years. There were
lots of ideas, discussions, the influence of the Spanish painters, Miro, Picasso, Tapies, and
this impacted on the work we produced for several exhibitions of work. Olsen had spent
several years in Spain painting with his family courtesy of a private benefactor in the 1950s
and this had been a huge influence on his work. It was also to influence a subsequent body
of work that I produced using raku techniques, the Earthworks series-some of the best work
aesthetically that I have done.’
Peter continues his ceramics creations and his learning experiences today. He is a
revered asset and friend to many within the Australian ceramics community. He lives
locally and recently had a solo exhibition here at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery.
Susanne Griffith
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
41. PETER WILSON, Jar (1991 Bathurst Art Purchase)
48. PETER WILSON, Earthworks II (1993 Bathurst Art Purchase)
58. PETER WILSON, Ancient Landscape (1998 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Mediaeval jug 1972
Award: 1972 Carillon City Festival Art Prize, Carillon Open Ceramic Award
Sponsored by the Bathurst and District Chamber of Commerce
Exhibition dates: 27 September – 10 October 1972
Judge/Adjudicator: Mr and Mrs A. Tuckson
Bowl (Platter) 1991
Award: Acquired through the Bathurst Art Purchase Prize 1991
Purchased on advice of the judge
Exhibition dates: 27 September to 10 October 1972
Judge/Adjudicator: Peter Rushforth
Roswitha Wulff (1941- ) was born in Tabrize, Iran but spent her early childhood with her mother,
potter Helma Klett, in Germany. She came to Australia at the age of eight. In 1964, she obtained
a ceramics certificate from the East Sydney Technical College. From 1964-65, she worked with
Robin Welch and Ian Sprague at Sprague’s Mungeribar Pottery in Upper Beaconsfield, VIC. In
1966 she worked at the Sturt Pottery in Mittagong, NSW under Les Blakebrough. Between 1967
and 1969 she travelled overseas, spending 6 monthe with Robin Welch after his return to England
and 9 months as a full-time thrower at Briglin Pottery, London, as well as working in potteries in
Denmark and Germany. From 1969-70, she worked in North-West Pakistan as a research scholar
for the Smithonian Institute and the University of NSW. Returning to Australia in 1970, she set up
a workshop in Paddington, NSW, with the help of an Australia Council grant and taught part-time
at the East Sydney Technical College and the Willoughby Workshop Art Centre
At the time of the Bathurst Art Prize award, Roswitha Wullf was concentrating on Japanese
Shino glazing and Bizen-type pots and platters, working in a restrained way, producing
beautiful functional and conceptual works. Her stoneware jug is a perfect example of her work
of that period. Based on her philosophy that well executed pottery using traditional skills and
techniques is how we connect with our physical world and well-being.
Wullf says of her work ‘In this world of change and distraction, the quality that I strive for in
my work is a quiet simplicity. Making pots is a ritual – a celebration of the physical nature
of being, and a renewal of life’s energy, unfolding through the process of making. The
adventure is in the pursuit. Using the language of wood firing, I create a personal vocabulary
portraying the Australian landscape of which I am greatly attached. My form is influenced by
art nouveau or jugendstil, reflecting the other half of my heritage.’
Born in Tabriz Persia (now Iran), her father, Dr Hans Wulff, was a German goldsmith and
engineer, who was interned by the British to Australia. Roswitha remained in northern Germany
with her mother, a potter who used a wood fired kiln with a friend to produce functional pottery.
When Roswitha was eight she and her mother joined her father in Australia. She went to school
in Sydney and studied at the East Sydney Technical College (now the National Art School) under
the tutelage of Peter Rushforth who introduced her to Japanese wood-fire, its philosophy and
aesthetic. In 1978 she returned to Germany intending to hone her skills while living there.
However she missed the Australian bush with its subtlety of colour. The colours used in her work
reflect this.
Since then she has been a lecturer and Head of Ceramics in many institutions, including the
National Art School. In the 1990s, she moved her studio to Botany Bay, NSW, where she still lives
and works.
6. ROSWITHA WULFF, Mediaeval Jug (1972 Carillon City Festival Art Prize)
42. ROSWITHA WULFF, Bowl (1991 Bathurst Art Purchase)
Lorraine Fielding
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Volunteer Guide
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