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  • Artists Alliance Barbados

Form & Fire

Form and Fire is a significant exhibition as it highlights a broad range of works in clay, making methods and firing approaches by female ceramicists who share a love for and near obsession with clay. The works explore the characteristics of clay to assume form when worked manually (hand-built) or mechanically (wheel-thrown).

Each artist uses different making and firing techniques to manipulate the elements of earth, air, and fire, creating beautiful and unique expressions of the ceramic art form.

• Lynn Haynes throws porcelain vessels on the wheel and embellishes them with flowers and other tropical themes; she fires in an electric kiln at temperatures upwards of 1200˚C.

• Gail Riley hand builds works from Chalky Mount white clay and indigenous terracotta clay, incorporating other local clays as slips. She too fires in an electric kiln just below 1150°C.

• Ancel Daniel hand builds clay masks which are then incorporated into 2D mixed media works.

• In this exhibition, Melanie D’Oliveira works are inspired by tropical fruit forms which she fires in her modified gas kiln to around 1060˚C.

• Martina Pilé’s hand-built and wheel-thrown work incorporates sgraffito (incised lines) into tiles, bottles and dishes, and she will exhibit her first Raku works in this show.

• Juliana Inniss finishes her hand-built vessel forms using alternative firing techniques such as Raku, Naked Raku, Saggar and Sawdust firing, all at low temperatures between 850°C to under 1000˚C.

These artists are shifting the perception of ceramics and pottery and pushing the boundaries of the medium. The members of Contemporary Studio Ceramics Barbados hope that this exhibition will help to broaden the interest in ceramics in Barbados, an island which has a strong ceramic tradition dating back almost two thousand years. As they embrace our rich ceramic heritage, they continue to explore, experiment, and create.

This passion for clay is by no means isolated to these six featured ceramicists, as a number of established and emerging potters continue to create in Barbados. Globally, ceramics is a thriving art form, and indeed this exhibition coincides with Ceramics Art London (CAL), the UK’s leading Ceramics event, which features 91 exhibiting ceramic makers from Britain, Japan, Korea, Germany and the Netherlands. This event will include demonstrations and Clay Talks, with reports being presented on the first Indian Ceramic Triennale and the National Ceramics Competition for Southern Africa.

Contemporary Studio Ceramics Barbados emerged as a collective for ceramists to exhibit at CARIFESTA 13, 2017.

Oneka Small | Curator

23 March 2019

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