I’ve had some very good news to end this year. A couple of months ago the Art Gallery of NSW purchased 12 pieces of my ceramics for the collection.
They wanted a selection of my ‘5 Stones’ sericite porcelain stone bowls. A pair of bowls from each of the two Australian sites that I discovered and developed over the past 20 years, and 2 each from the other sites in Korea, China, Japan and Cornwall in the UK, where I spent time researching and collecting samples from ancient sites and quarries over that time
I’m very pleased to be in the Art Gallery of New South Wales collection. When I started out on this experiment almost 20 years ago I had no idea how it would pan out and change my life. I’ve always worked I was brought up without formal religion in a loosely buddhist/Quaker background, in a ‘green’ household, long before ‘The Greens’ were invented. Where the values of Humanism and environmental concerns were high on the agenda. The saying, atributed to Aristotle, “Give me the boy till he is seven, and I’ll give you the man”, couldn’t be truer in my case. I am that man.
So, thinking of the environmental/humanitarian consequences of my actions is in the fore-front of my mind in every activity each day. It is the way that I approach everything in my life, so using what is naturally available around me for free, has always seemed preferable to buying some sort of imported, manufactured, product from a shop. Hence my self-reliant lifestyle, from food to fuel, to shelter, all the way through to my creative aspirations.
I seem to have become an expert on hand made sericite porcelain, with a few of my books being translated into both French and Korean. It’s not that what I do is so hard to achieve, it’s more a case of it being so ‘out-there’ in a weird and exotic kind of way, such that no body else in their right mind would want to do it.
Now, as I said before, I’m so very pleased to have this important 2 decades of research and creative work in the AG NSW collection. I think that it will be an important resource for future generations who might want to know more about this holistic approach to living, thinking and making.
I have to thank several people, my agent, Sonia Legge, and particularly Glenn Barkley for proposing the development of a ceramics acquisition program for the gallery here in NSW in his Presentation on the ‘Red Clay Rambler’ podcast. Then I have to thank Vicki Grimma for donating a significant amount of money to the Gallery to fund some of the acquisitions. Lastly but not least, I have to thank Wayne Tunnicliffe at the Art Gallery of NSW for his support. There are of course others that need to be thanked, like my partner Janine King and friends and associates that gave advice and support along the way too numerous to name individually, but thank you to you also.
I don’t know the full story of how it all came to pass. I don’t move in those sorts of circles. I grow fruit and vegetables, make pots from stones and do a bit of writing. However, I’m really pleased that my work has been recognised. I didn’t set out to do something ‘special’. I just started following my inclination and my inquisitive nature led me here, to explore and research on and on, and this is where I’ve ended up.
It’s a good place to be.