Sunday, 6 January 2008

surf n' ceramics

The more things change....Different year ,same work.This tile ,featuring uber-ceramicist Ken Price is the first thing out of the kiln inscribed with the year '2008 ' It is one of around forty tiles featuring individuals who inhabit the liminal (or is that littoral?) reaches of surf -culture. I was working along on this series quite happily until those old nagging questions arose....Why are you doing this work? What is the point in/of it? Aren't there enough ceramics in the world already? What would Bernard /Garth/Edmund et al think? And this morning I decide to check out the latest instalment from Interpeting Ceramics and find a bunch of emerging practitioners raising a bunch of horribly informed and challenging questions regarding current ceramics practise.

During periods of professional despondency I have turned often to the possibly apocryphal tale told to me by Phil Hart regarding the work practices of Ken Price and Billy 'Al" Bengston. Apparently these two "artists who surfed" ,would relegate the early glassy ocean mornings to surfing and use what was left of the day to make "art". Whilst this may seem overly simplistic and hedonistic it is a regime I still strive for.


shannon said...

Hi Gerry
I consider time in the garden, reading, looking out the window and general mooching about a serious part of the artists day! After all didn't most of the great artists in history spend time sitting around in picturesque locations quaffing delicious beverages and gathering inspiration?

gerry said...

Sure Shannon,all of what you say is true.I guess I spent my MA years with some of the new crop of ambitious artists whose every move was dictated by success and or the latest issue of Artforum. The experience may have tarnished my romanticidealism.