Display seeks Barambah pottery items
THE Ration Shed Museum at Cherbourg is holding a touring exhibition of Barambah Pottery.
Barambah Pottery was a commercial training venture at Cherbourg from 1969 to 1986, during which time many people were employed creating and decorating pottery – vases, jugs and goblets, cups and plates, even ashtrays and money-boxes.
Co-curators Robert “Rocko” Langton and Matthew Wengert have been assembling a large and diverse collection of the pottery that will form the core of the display, together with rare archival photographs of the pottery operations – throwing pots, painting surface decorations, and firing the wares in the kiln. Rocko was employed at Barambah painting images on pots before they went into the kiln. He is still dedicated to his art, and has fond memories of his early artistic training at the pottery factory.
The exhibition opens at Childers Art Space on May 31, and will be at Kingaroy Regional Gallery in July.
In December the exhibition moves to the State Library of Queensland’s kuril dhagun (indigenous) space.
Most of the wares produced at Barambah Pottery were decorated with traditional Aboriginal designs and motifs, including a variety of animals, and some of it was made specifically for social clubs and organizations in the South Burnett– such as Apex, Lions, and Rotary clubs.
The pottery is almost always stamped on the base with the word ‘Barambah’ impressed into the clay.
Much of this distinctive pottery was sold through the Aboriginal Creations store in Brisbane to foreign tourists, and the Ration Shed’s exhibition project has been actively searching for pieces and has brought some of the pottery home from the UK and USA.
Although the exhibition organizers have gathered a strong representative selection of Barambah Pottery products they are very keen to find more, and they want to hear from anyone in the South Burnett who has Barambah pieces that they might loan or donate or sell to the Ration Shed Museum for the exhibition.
You can contact the Ration Shed Museum by phone (07 4169 5753) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
POTTERY: Robert Langton is the co-curator of the exhibition.