Opening: Saturday 9 November 2013

Comments by Vicki Grima, Judge

I was delighted to be asked to judge the Gold Coast Potters Association Annual Exhibition 2013. As Editor of The Journal of Australian Ceramics, I spend a lot of my time looking at ceramics and so it’s always a pleasure to see a diverse range of new work of such a high standard. With members ranging from hobbyists and students to exhibiting artists, it was a challenge to choose winners from amongst those with a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge. However, the range of awards gave scope for me to spread the choices amongst the exhibitors. The works which appealed to me most were those which had integrity, a whole which has come together from parts, none of which look ‘out of place’. The form, colour, surface decoration, texture, scale and emotional appeal come together effortlessly (or so it appears). The work looks ‘right’; it looks look like it was meant to be.

The Overall Winner was Megan Puls with her work “Habitat”, part of the Ebb Tide Series. The way in which Megan used the rusty metal sheet as a protection for the porcelain forms emphasised the fragility of the egg-like forms nestled together in small tight groups. Her attention to detail is exemplary, shown in the subtle textures of tidemarks and the pinholes which frame the subtly curved edges.

The Themed Award – Flora was won by Carol Reinhardt for her grouping of four platters titled “Four Seasons”. Although these textured platters would cause a kitchen hand to throw his hands up in horror (they would not be functional as a cheese platters) I really enjoyed seeing the beautiful skeletal leaf textures pressed into the platters, as well as the echoing pattern underneath the platters.

Karen Morrison won the Complementary Group of Pots Award for her “Bowled Over” collection of wheel-thrown forms, slightly varied in size, and arranged in a staggered line. A bold manganese line around the body of each bowl lead my eye along the line – a simple idea, well executed.

The Willy Toomey Memorial Award for student handbuilt work went to Jo Norton for her grouping titled “Frame Series III”. The slender cylindrical porcelain slab forms, inspired by a workshop with Kenji Uranishi, were evocative of a stand of trees. Contrasting with the subtle photographic transfers on the surface were strong black frames, reminding me of the frames we see when we take a photo, when we crop the image with a view finder. Jo’s work looked particularly good with the light through the window picking up their translucency.

Desiree Kenafake won the Ruth Lyons Encouragement Award (for a student or hobby potter) for “Spine”. I enjoyed the different layers of this work when, from a distance, the simplicity of the slightly curving form captured my attention. On coming closer, I then noticed the profile of ridges forming subtle shadows, which on even closer inspection revealed finely executed surface textures.

A second Encouragement Award was also given to Amanda Bromfield for “Beautiful Bella”, a baroque female figure in which the artist used the dress as a metaphor for identity. Her figurative sculptures are well executed, fun yet challenging.

It was really good to spend time with the members of the GCPA at the opening (and on Sunday at the Pinch Pot Workshop). I congratulate everyone who worked to make the exhibition a significant event for the 2013 year. I wish you all the best for the wonderful facilities and hope that the creative energy you have at Benowa continues to thrive.

Gold Coast Potters Association, The Potters’ Place, 173 Ashmore Road, Cnr Ashmore Rd + Carrara St, Benowa QLD; www.goldcoastpotters.com