I’ve been spending a good part of my time this year throwing pots at my local primary school two days a week. This was initially an activity designed to introduce kids to clay and to the idea of making things from scratch but, as I’ve discovered as President of TACA, all great ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of time and effort involved! All of the things TACA is involved in across the country – from publishing the magazine through to stalls at conferences, exhibitions, following up legal matters pertaining to insurance and running an organisation, writing resources for our members, demonstrations, designing flyers and advertisements, Open Studio events and a million other daily, weekly and monthly tasks – involve stamina far beyond the original enthusiasm for the project. The TACA Committee are a wonderful bunch of people who are prepared to put this effort in and make exciting things happen! Sometimes there are huge national events such as the Open Studios and sometimes they are involved in small but crucial decisions about the daily running of the organisation.
This month we are all starting to build excitement around Stepping Up, the Australian Ceramics Triennale to be held in Canberra from 9–11 July 2015. TACA is holding a members’ exhibition in the Foyer Gallery of the School of Art, ANU, with over 150 entries from across the country. This will be a magnificent presentation of contemporary Australian ceramics in all its glorious diversity. I’ve been in contact with the Triennale committee, Craft ACT and the ANU to get the technical specifications for the Ceramic Film Festival and I am corresponding with potential participants. We have had submissions for the film festival from members working on projects as diverse as an abstract project exploring natural clay, temporality and place, woodfiring, paperclay sculpture inquiring into anthropomorphic qualities of architecture, tableware techniques, and a black comedy based around figurative sculpture referencing French classic cinema. The final line up for the film festival will be finalised by the next meeting in May.
At our strategy meeting back in January with Ann Porcino, Barbara Campbell-Allen bought up the idea that TACA should look into diversifying the opportunities and engagement we have with businesses and people outside of the ceramics world such as restaurateurs, chefs, architects and interior designers. With this in mind I have been doing some research into opportunities for TACA within some of the design markets around the country. I have looked into The Finders Keepers and The Big Design Market.
The Finders Keepers hold two markets a year in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
Melbourne held at the Royal Exhibition Building: Autumn/Winter – Friday (evening) 17, Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 July; Spring/Summer – Friday (evening) 2, Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 October
Brisbane held at the Old Museum: Autumn/Winter – Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 July; Spring/Summer – Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 November
Sydney held at the Australian Technology Park: Autumn/Winter – Friday (evening) 8, Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 May; Spring/Summer – Friday (evening) 11, Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 December
The Finders Keepers have a stall specifically for collectives and groups that is part of the Sydney and Melbourne market. The Collective Feature Space is 8m x 4m* and costs $3200 for two days.
The Big Design Market is held in Melbourne on the 4, 5 & 6 December and has stalls and events running.
It would be great for TACA to have a presence at one of these big fairs.They have excellent advertising and tens of thousands of visitors. By organising a stall it would give members that cannot afford to run their own stall an opportunity to be part of these events and raise awareness and profile for TACA within the wider community. I propose that I contact the Big Design Market and offer to hold a demonstration workshop under TACA banner, and enquire about having a collective stall, or that we put out a call for TACA members to run a stall with up to four compatible makers in it for the Finders Keepers market.
Finally, the Matchbox show is on in Brisbane at the Brisbane Modern art Gallery in Fortitude Valley from 10–21 March. Conceived by artist and curator Michael Ciavarella, this fantastic project that has grown over the last five years to include 5000 artists. It is composed of artworks that are at least 50% ceramic and that fit inside a redhead matchbox (54mm x 35mm x 15mm). The works are on display and as they wend their way around the world, this exhibition continues to grow through associated workshops and events. Anyone can be part of this project; just click on the link below to find out more about it and apply.
We welcome these new members:
Joann Merkur, Sophie Xarhakos, Denise Spalding, Sarah Rayner, Trish McNeil, Celia Pozzecco, Karen Murray, Sandra Robertson, Janine Flew, Juliet Cohen, Suzie O’Shea, Leisa Gunton, Amelia Kingston, Simone Atkins, Michael Jones, Paul Marosszeky, Susan Simonini, Carolyn Warren-Langford, Gomathi Suresh, Peggy McKenna, Jeanette Webb, Rachel Buch, Connie Augoustinos, Lisa Benny and Michelle Smith.