Thursday, 13 December 2007
Harts and flowers (what! no smoke and mirrors?)
Vale,Phil Hart! One door closes and .... well that most likely crap . At the end of this month Philip Hart finishes his stint at the helm of the ceramic studio at the Jam Factory.He is already being missed. Under Phil's supervision the Jam seems to have been a slightly more accommodating institution offering up assistance to practitioners of every kind of skill level. Phil is also a highly skilled practitioner across the ceramic spectrum .He has an enviable facility for fluid throwing and a highly developed sense of form with it. He is also willing to work in the studio where people can actually see objects being made.Phil is the second from right sandwiched between (l to r) ex Jammers Jo Crawford,the ever-youthful Peter Johnson and myself circa 1999
The position at the Jam has always proved difficult.It will never be easy merging strong ideology and commerce, particularly if one seems to be controlling the other. Should institutions like the Jam be following agendas or setting them? It seemed to be a more productive institution when some form of training was in place so that the quality of the work (not product) was the main focus.
On that note,there is an exhibition opening tonight at the Jam Factory Centre for craft and DESIGN (or whatever it is called presently) of works "showcasing" current and finishing associates , creative directors and tech staff.It should be a great (if busy) show. In the Studio Works space situated in the Jam shop there is a telling exhibition of previous ceramics studio heads consisting of Jeff Mincham,Peter Anderson, Stephen Bowers, Neville Assad-Salha and Bronwyn Kemp. While each of these heads brought their own skills to the job ,it seems that the trainee system which operated most stridently under Bronwyn is the one which has had the strongest impact on ceramics practise in Adelaide. (and continues to do so) Phil Hart was a trainee under Kemp and although he struggled at the time ,her influence on him (and a swag of other practitioners) was invaluable.
The new studio head is Robin Best, watch this space.