Ex­hi­bi­tions poles apart at Quartz

Wanganui Midweek - - NEWS - By PAUL BROOKS

Two di­verse pot­tery ex­hi­bi­tions sit side by side at Rick Rudd’s Quartz Mu­seum of Stu­dio Ce­ram­ics in Bates St.

In one room, an eclec­tic selec­tion from the col­lec­tion of Ann and Paul McNa­mara, cho­sen by Ann and ti­tled Ann’s Choice.

In the ex­hi­bi­tion space next door is a wild pro­fu­sion of colour and de­sign from Fiona Sib­bald’s col­lec­tion of Crown Lynn pot­tery, an ex­hi­bi­tion called Fiona Has De­signs on Crown Lynn.

You could not get two more different dis­plays.

Ann’s Choice fea­tures pieces cho­sen for different rea­sons, but, like the Crown Lynn col­lec­tion, many of them are prac­ti­cal.

Ann has cho­sen work by lo­cal pot­ter Ross Mitchel­lAnyon, in­clud­ing her favourite casse­role dish.

“What I like about his work is that you can see the hand of the pot­ter.”

She has also picked pieces of an en­tirely different kind.

“I’ve al­ways had an in­ter­est in art … objects ap­peal to me, par­tic­u­larly objects that are of na­ture, so if you look at most of these objects you’ll see

some­thing about plants or an­i­mals. I like the whole idea of nat­u­ral forms, and then a lot of the pot­tery is util­i­tar­ian as well.”

She likes the tac­tile na­ture of ce­ram­ics, whether in the shape or tex­ture of the glaze.

“Ross’s work ap­peals be­cause not only are they re­ally good to look at but you can also use them.”

Ann’s Choice is work from different pot­ters, some quirky, some se­ri­ous, some un­usual, some play­ful, all of it worth a look.

Some of the rep­re­sented pot­ters spent time work­ing for Crown Lynn. There are works by Paul Maseyk, a former stu­dent of Ross Mitchel­lAnyon.

Ann says lovers of ce­ram­ics owe a great deal to Rick Rudd and Quartz.

“Re­sponses to ce­ram­ics are al­ways emo­tional,” says Rick.

Ann says she gets a lot of plea­sure shar­ing beautiful and use­ful pieces of pot­tery with din­ner guests.

“They’re an art form: they make you feel good,” she says.

The art forms are very different in the Crown Lynn col­lec­tion, but no less im­por­tant.

Again, the re­sponse to the dis­play is emo­tional — nos­tal­gia. Fiona Sib­bald has been col­lect­ing Crown Lynn since 2004 and runs a Face­book page called Crown Lynn Skite Site. She is no stranger to pot­tery, hav­ing spent 13 years in Lon­don as a re­tail man­ager for Royal Doul­ton.

Her ex­hi­bi­tion is a brave mix of tra­di­tional pat­terns, chil­dren’s de­signs, an­i­mals and the ubiq­ui­tous squares, dots and ab­stract lines that once graced the kitchen ta­bles of New Zealand.

There are plates made es­pe­cially for oc­ca­sions like the 1970 Expo, plates made for Bel­lamy’s at Par­lia­ment, pieces de­signed by cel­e­brated pot­ters and all very col­lectable. The ex­hi­bi­tion also fea­tures hand­painted plates.

Crown Lynn op­er­ated for more than 50 years, clos­ing the fac­tory in 1989.

“It is part of New Zealand’s his­tory now,” says Rick. “We need peo­ple like Fiona to do this.” Ann’s Choice and Fiona Has De­signs on Crown Lynn are on dis­play at Quartz un­til Septem­ber 24.

PIC­TURES / PAUL BROOKS

Ann McNa­mara with some of her col­lec­tion in Ann’s Choice, an ex­hi­bi­tion at Quartz Mu­seum of Stu­dio Ce­ram­ics.

Crown Lynn in all its glory.

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