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September President's Report

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

President’s report PYRE September 2023

We held our CAAWA annual general meeting on the 6th August at Belmont Potter’s Club. Members were able to attend in person and online.


The past year has been a busy one and I was able to outline some of the activities of our association at the meeting and we thanked retiring committee members.


The 2023-2024 Committee is:

Executive positions

  • President: Bernard Kerr (returning)

  • Vice President: Liz Berry (returning)

  • Treasurer: Colin Jefferson (new)

  • Secretary: Felicity Bodycoat (returning)

General committee members

  • Janet Hummerston (returning)

  • Jenny Wood (returning)

  • Matt Russell (returning)

  • Judy Nastov (returning)


I sincerely thank Emma Vinkovic, Katrina Rogers, Jeanne Armstrong, Japneet Keith, Lynne Carlin, Narayani Palmer, Cat Connor and Stewart Scambler who have resigned from the committee for their contribution. I also welcome Colin Jefferson as the new treasurer.

The new committee will be more streamlined and will help us provide more activities and experiences for members.


Some of the things that happened in 2022-23 were:

  • CAAWA’s IDENTITY and STYLE

CAAWA has been upgraded and now we have a new identity logo and “style guide‘ and can be immediately identified with our iconic colours of turquoise and orange. The Website has been upgraded and looks fantastic thanks to the work of Matt Russell and Liz Berry. Remember that you may submit images of your work to Matt at web@ceramicartswa.asn.au for inclusion on the Association website Member’s Gallery. I encourage you all to look at the website and also to submit images of your work so the world can see some of the great ceramics from WA. This work on branding will stand the organization in good stead as we move towards the Triennale in 2025


  • ANNUAL EXHIBITION:

Our annual selective exhibition was held at gallery Central at NM TAFE in Aberdeen Street Perth last October. Judge Warrick Palmateer did a fabulous job of identifying work for special mention and the prizewinners. Congratulations to Ian Dowling for being awarded the Kusnik award for excellence.


There were 60 artists with 111 ceramic pieces entered in the show and approximately 300 people attended the opening. Subsequent attendance averaged 40 people per day during the week. 16 artworks were sold. More than this it was an opportunity for members to showcase their work in a professional setting and show their work publicly.


This year it will be at the Moore’s Building on the 16th September. The judge will be Glenn Isegar Pilkington from Fremantle Arts Centre


  • INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS

CAAWA is keen to make international connections and develop networks with ceramic artists in our region. Not only will this foster the development of connections and the sharing of ideas but will also provide opportunities for WA ceramic artists in terms of opportunities to exhibit internationally, experience residencies in foreign countries and also be inspired by different cultural experiences.


The installation work kindly sponsored by Midland Brick and held at Boola Bardip WA Museum by Singaporean artist Jason Lim in October 2022 was a highlight. A CAAWA social event was held and members who attended were able to meet with Jason and discuss his practice and international experiences.


I was able to visit Indonesia in September 2022 and met with leading Indonesian ceramic artists and curators Nurdian Ichsan and Asmidjo Irianto from the Bandung Institute of Technology as well as attend the Jakarta Art Fair. It was an inspiring trip and has opened up the possibilities for an Indonesian contemporary ceramics exhibition in Perth or Fremantle to coincide with our conference in 2025.


The CAAWA Committee also held an online Zoom meeting with Indian Ceramics Triennale directors and committee in January this year.


That was followed up with a visit to India in May this year. I met with Falghuni Bhatt and Khanjan Dalal, founders of the Indian Ceramics Art Foundation (ICAF) and Anjani Khanna, director of the Indian Ceramics Triennale “Common Ground’ that is to be held in New Delhi January – March 2024.


We are currently investigating a trip to the opening event and ceramic symposium in January 2024. If you are interested, contact Felicity Bodycoat, CAAWA secretary and express your interest. We are looking at a two-week trip to attend the Triennial and visit major cultural and ceramics centres over a two week period.


  • INTERSTATE CONNECTIONS

CAAWA members attended the Warrandyte Pottery Expo February 2023: 13 CAAWA members selected by Warrick Palmateer at the Annual exhibition were able to show their work and we generated over $6,000 in sales.


CAAWA became a member of the World Craft Council Australia and now has access to Garland Magazine, an international online craft magazine.


  • REGIONAL CONNECTIONS

CAAWA has regional representatives in major regional centres in WA and we have held regular online meetings and discussed ceramics and ceramic opportunities for regional clayworkers.


CAAWA has developed a series of ceramics workshops and acts as a facilitator to link master ceramists with regional groups so as to assist with workshop development in the regions.


  • MUD EVENTS

Our MUD (Make, Understand, Demonstrate) events were well subscribed through the year.

We had the privilege of seeing master ceramic artists demonstrate and discuss their ceramic practice at a number of venues in Perth. The events for 2022-23 were

  1. Cate Cosi Majolica decoration

  2. Holly O’Meehan; Sculptural and textural ceramics

  3. Gary Zeck Studio visit and discussion of a wide range of ceramic techniques

The next MUD event will be a pit firing workshop with Naryani Palmer that is planned for the second weekend in September.



  • WHAT’S ON IN CLAY WA

CAAWA members Jeanne Armstrong and Matt Russell collaborate to present What’s on in Clay WA and PYRE. If you have any ceramic events happening, don’t hesitate to contact Jeanne at jeanne.armstrong100@gmail.com to have your event included.



  • SPONSORSHIP

Members of the CAAWA committee have held meetings with the Midland Brick company about the possibility of sponsorship for CAAWA events, particularly our annual exhibition and the Ceramics Triennale in 2025.


  • AUSTRALIAN CERAMICS TRIENNALE

The Australian Ceramics Triennale 2025 will be held on the 2-5th October 2025 with the name ‘WEDGE’.


There has been a considerable amount of work done to develop this exciting event for ceramics in WA. We held a planning day in November 2022, formed a Steering committee that has been meeting every month, and wrote a Curatorial Statement.


We held a Busy Bee Day on Sunday 25th June. Based on this work, we have developed a website that is about to be launched, designed a logo and produced an ‘Open Call’ document Call for papers and proposals. The launch of the website and open call will occur in September 2023.


Other activities associated with the conference were a meeting with TACA president Debbie Pryor. The confirmation of two keynote speakers and discussions with a third, the award of a $12,500 grant from Business Events Perth and the holding of a range of meetings

Members of the Steering Committee have held meetings with Lawrence Wilson Arts Gallery curator Jemma Weston, three meetings with director from the Art Gallery of WA Colin Walker and AGWA curators, Yvonne Wise and Robert Cook and Rachel Ciesla and a meeting with Glen Isegar Pilkington curator at Fremantle Arts Centre.


All in all, a busy and productive year and one that highlights the exciting possibilities for ceramics in WA. In this issue of PYRE, we are asking for some help from volunteers in assisting in organising the ceramics Triennale. This would be a way to strengthen your networks and engage with the broader WA ceramics community. I encourage you to help in any way you can and celebrate the joy that making and appreciating ceramics brings to life!


Best wishes to everyone.

Bernard Kerr, CAAWA President


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