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Program event

The Changing World

Tanya Harrod

Venue: Manning Clarke Theatre 1, Australian National University (ANU), Canberra ACT 2600

Keynote address

Thursday, 9 July 2015 9:15 am – 10:20 am

From the studio to the factory to the table top: ceramics in a changing world

Making pots in studio was once cast as a form of creative opposition to the ceramic factory. Studio potters sought to restore a varied set of values to ceramic production – from the ‘born not made’ aesthetic of Yanagi Soetsu, Bernard Leach and Katharine Pleydell Bouverie to the sculptural ambitiousness of figures like Peter Voulkos, Viola Frey and Gwynn Hanssen Pigott. By the 1990s, however, the factory became a site of increased attraction to potters. Much industrial ceramic production shifted to the Far East, in itself a kind of homecoming. Perhaps that is why the factory is currently an exotic place of wonder and experimentation for studio ceramicists. Meanwhile, within the art world clay is recognised as a medium in which to celebrate the handmade at its most immediate and inchoate. In a world of expensive, contested and often poisonous materials, ceramic production has retained a kind of primordial innocence where ideas about utopian creativity can be investigated.


Image:  Portrait of Tanya Harrod


Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre Australian National University Canberra Potters' Society Strathnairn Arts Association The Australian Ceramics Association