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Presidents Report - PYRE February 2024

Updated: Feb 20

Exploring International Perspectives: Ceramic Arts Association of Western Australia

at the Indian Ceramics Triennale

India is a land of vibrancy and intensity. I have just returned from the remarkably stimulating

experience of attending and participating at the Indian Ceramics Trienalle held in New Delhi

from January 19th to 24th, 2024. The participation of five members of the Ceramic Arts

Association of Western Australia (CAAWA) in the Indian Ceramics Triennale marks a significant milestone in fostering international exchange and collaboration with the WA ceramics community and builds on networks and connections developing between Western Australia and countries in the Indian Ocean Rim.

I was accompanied on this journey with Matt Russell, Janet Hummerston, Katrina Rogers, and Jenny Wood, all members or previous members of the CAAWA committee. There was also a delegation from Alice Springs with members of the Hermannsberg Potters Aboriginal Corporation who were exhibiting in the Trienalle. We had all received funding from Creative Australia to attend this prestigious event.

The Triennale, characterized by its predominantly conceptual work, provided a platform for our delegations to engage with the global ceramics community, forge connections with Indian ceramic artists and organizations. We were also able to promote the upcoming Wedge Australian Ceramics Triennale slated for October 2025 in Fremantle, Western Australia.

At the Indian Ceramics Triennale, I delivered a paper that delved into the significance of ceramics conferences, biennales, triennales, and symposia in the international ceramics landscape. Through an array of images, I explained the pivotal role of such events in facilitating dialogue, knowledge exchange, and artistic innovation within the ceramics community. Moreover, I seized the opportunity to unveil plans for the forthcoming Wedge Australian Ceramics Triennale in Fremantle slated for October 2025. By showcasing Western Australia as a vibrant hub for ceramic arts, hopefully my presentation not only promoted Wedge but also spotlighted Fremantle and Western Australia as compelling destinations for ceramic enthusiasts worldwide.

The CAAWA delegation's presence at the Indian Ceramics Triennale served to strengthen ties with both the Indian Contemporary Clay Foundation, the organizing body behind the Triennale, and the Indian Ceramic Art Foundation (ICAF), publishers of the esteemed journal "Mrin". Through personal interactions with influential Indian ceramic artists and curators, our delegation fostered meaningful connections and initiated fruitful collaborations. By actively engaging with the Indian and international ceramics audience, the delegation effectively communicated the significance of Wedge and positioned Western Australia as a dynamic centre for ceramic arts.

We benefited also and gained valuable insights into diverse artistic practices, techniques, and cultural perspectives. This immersive experience not only broadened our artistic horizons but also paved the way for future collaborations between Australian and Indian ceramic artists as well as other ceramic artists and curators. Over twenty members of the International Academy of Ceramics from all over the world were also in attendance and held an exhibition of their work at a ‘PechaKucha’ event which is a storytelling format

where a presenter shows 20 slides for 20 seconds of commentary each about their ceramic practice. The exchange of ideas and techniques at such international platforms was a rich and valuable experience for all of us and connections that were made will feed back into further connections and collaborations between the WA ceramics community and international practitioners, many of who expressed an interest to attend ‘Wedge’.

Works in the Trienalle included performance, installation, sound, mixed media, fired and unfired clay and virtual reality as well as more traditional ceramic forms. The diversity of approaches and conceptual experimental tone of the show was a refreshing interaction with the almost limitless possibilities inherent in the medium. The curators wer eable to tap into a very diverse range of ideas and practices demonstrating how ideas and provocations may be communicated based on contexts, the material and the act of making.

The participation of the Ceramic Arts Association of Western Australia in the Indian Ceramics Triennale exemplifies the power of international exchange and collaboration in fostering artistic dialogue, cultural understanding, and creative innovation within the ceramics community. Through engagement with Indian and international artists and organizations, the delegation not only strengthened existing relationships but also forged new connections that hold the promise of future collaborations. By promoting Wedge and

Western Australia on the global stage, the delegation has positioned Fremantle as a vibrant hub for ceramic arts and showcased the rich cultural tapestry of Western Australia to an international audience. As the ceramics community continues to thrive on collaboration and exchange, events like the Indian Ceramics Triennale serve as catalysts for artistic growth and cultural enrichment on a global scale.

We trust that this will continue as Western Australian ceramic practice develops in the


Bernard Kerr February 2024

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body.

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