Sunday, July 22, 2012

The long and winding road, CAAWA Members Selective 2012

I am a city girl through and through so on making my way to the ZigZag Gallery in Kalamunda for the opening of the CAAWA Selective Exhibition, I was glad to have some navigators with me through the unfamiliar, twisty, hilly (zig-zaggy) roads up into the Perth Hills.  I strongly dislike TomToms and freeways so we got a bit of teamship going as my lads helped get us there.  I wished I still had my little MG Midget I used to drive round London in - but then, there'd be no room for the navigators and those hills might have tested it.  The small country town of Kalamunda is the most gorgeous little well kept secret and all the nicer last weekend in the winter sunshine. The Cultural Centre is especially lovely and well maintained, clearly the pride of the shire and a great tourist attraction.  A visual tour on the ZigZag website explains everything.  The gallery was a knockout - look here to see it on their excellent website and here  for background info on the building itself.
Image from
On arrival we wondered why we'd not visited Kalamunda for ages, and learnt from locals in the know of the  fab patisserie there, a great pizza place and a great looking Thai eatery.  I feel some family jaunts out of Perth coming on.

The standard of work in the selective was very high, as always, and it felt good to be exhibiting my work in such company.   I had our three sons with me, they like seeing my work in galleries and I like them to get a perspective of the possibilities in ceramics - and to meet my friends.  The boys are used to attending these events and make me feel proud.  Gaelan (16) enjoyed being plied with OJ in fancy wine glasses and Oscar (14) now requests that we buy cheese and crackers such as those enjoyed at the selective.  How do young men get sophisticated?  Bring them to art shows and treat them like adults.  I loved when Emmet (19) sauntered over to me, smiling, to report on a cluster of women admiring my work.   Then minutes later he  jostled back more urgently, to advise that one of my pieces had just sold. 
photo, Vanessa Robinson.
The awards were given by the judge Dr Ric Spencer (click link to read a nice interview).  The Kusnik award went to one of my favourite WA artists Alison Brown.

Alison Brown

I got a very positive sense about WA ceramics having a future and longevity and that there was some new talent bubbling to the surface and putting work out there.  For example the group of thrown porcelain bottle forms by Stephanie Hammill and the thrown, carved and pierced set of three white stoneware domes by Natalie Acton - which blew me away.

Southern Ice Bottles by Stephanie Hammill, photo by Cher Shackleton

Natalie Action, photo by Cher Shackleton
We had pieces by Greg Crowe, Sandra Black, Stewart Scambler, and several less well known but equally deserving artists.  I especially loved the modernity of Stewart Scambler's and Rosemary Schoen's pieces.   This post is laden with images as I know quite a few of my readers might not get to the show. 

Cher Shackleton, Baskets, Wood fired.

Janet Kovesi-Watt, Teapots, slip trailled, wood fired.

John Blinco, Neri Komi, Bowls

Njalikwe Chongwe, Raku Fired 
Stewart Scambler, Woodfired

Rosemary Schoen

Marie Owen, Lynn Carlin, John Blinco and Christine Blinco, the superb hospitality team.

Clearly anybody who thinks the ceramics scene in WA is stale is incorrect.
Bulls by Helen Dundo
Photos,  Natalie Acton, Cher Shackleton, Vanessa Robinson from the CAAWA Facebook Page and the CAAWA website unless otherwise stated.

Well that was a bit of a marathon read, are you up for some more?  Of course you are. Let's see what the rest of the potters have been talking about over at Mud Colony.


  1. Elaine, wow, what an amazing post! Thank you so much for taking the time to photograph so many pieces and share them with us! WA ceramics seems to be most certainly alive and kicking :)

  2. What a fabulous building to exhibit in and the show amazing work showing! Those sophisticated boys (I should say men!) of yours must be very proud of their momma! Great post Elaine!