Sneak peak of the two exhibitions alongside mine at ArtsPost

There are 2 exhibitions at ArtsPost at the same time as my “Of dreams and hopes and love“. It’s always fascinating learning about other artists’ journeys and inspirations. So here’s the inside scoop, just for you.

Three exhibitions at ArtsPost, Hamilton, from the 26th of May to the 26th of June.
Three exhibitions at ArtsPost, Hamilton, from the 26th of May to the 26th of June.

There’s More to Me Than Me

Susan St Lawrence and 9 other potters are exploring aspects of their imagination using materials other than the ceramics they’re known for.

Susan shared her background, and some totally intriguing details about the exhibition with me.

What inspired you to become an artist?

When I was young my love of animals, especially the wild animals of Africa, created an urge in me to draw them, have a relationship with them I guess, even if it was only on paper. Never really thought about it like that before. I’ve just always loved drawing and I loved animals so the two just melded together. That then lead on to making them in clay… As an adult I usually draw and sculpt in order to understand something more fully, to ‘see’ it as it really is; and to understand what’s beneath its surface both literally and personality-wise.

Susan St Lawrence and some of the artworks for the exhibition.
Susan St Lawrence and some of the artworks for the exhibition.

I’d always wanted to be an ‘artist’, but life and finances got in the way. Then when I was nearly 50 I thought damn it, if I don’t get an arts degree now I never will. So I rented out my house and went house-sitting for four years so I could do the diploma of ceramic arts and a visual arts degree. That was 11 years ago. The lifestyle suits me, never been so happy, but I really should get a job….

What attracted you to clay and ceramics?

I loved bronze casting and also did glass casting for several years, but in the end those materials didn’t let me explore sculptural form in the way I hankered to. I got into clay at a time when I was becoming disenchanted with the corporate world. Clay gave me an immediate freedom of expression that I craved and also an intellectual challenge because of the technical knowledge you need to experiment with in order to get the results you envision in your head. It also allowed me to build big.

What was the inspiration for this exhibition?

I recently had my own house built and I was in to ‘nesting’ in a big way. I read Gaston Bachelard’s philosophical Poetics of Space and he wrote about the importance of the domestic nooks and crannies (and nests) that engender reverie, imagination and creativity. Virginia Woolf also wrote about this in ‘A Room of One’s Own’.

One thing led to another and the idea grew. My ceramic friends in the LUSH group also tend to be handy with other forms of creative media, and so the idea of the ‘There’s More to Me than (the public) Me’ installation grew. The works had to be at least 80% NON-ceramic – we’re always up for a challenge.

Some of the artworks you'll come across at the "There's More To Me Than Me" exhibition.
Some of the artworks you’ll come across at the “There’s More To Me Than Me” exhibition.
What’s one thing you’re working on for this exhibition that people don’t know about?

Now that would spoil the surprise!!

Why should people come to your exhibition in person?

An installation is different to an exhibition. This is not a show of objects, but rather an all-senses experience of a space transformed by the merging of the different works into an environment that encourages the loitering, musing and reverie of the visitor. Don’t expect the usual white-space exhibition. This will be a multi-layered experience that will be unique for each person who enters.

Some of the artworks you'll come across at the "There's More To Me Than Me" exhibition.
Some of the artworks you’ll come across at the “There’s More To Me Than Me” exhibition.

Riverweaver

With this exhibition, Jenny Fraser tells a story of thread, colour, style and texture through her weaving and found fibres. She shared her background, and a bit about her exhibition with me.

What inspired you to become an artist?

The urge to create, that unseen force from within opening… I follow my gut sense to the next adventure without the initial stage being cerebral, the beauty of nature inspiring a multitude of colour ways.

What attracted you to fibre and weaving?

My aunt Helen Burk, a woman of inspiration, was a spinner, dyer, weaver & tailor. She exhibited in the Auckland museum in the 1960’s.

Jenny Fraser with her weaving and basket of found fibres.
Jenny Fraser with her weaving and basket of found fibres.

From 1970 – 1972 I lived in Scotland at the Findhorn Community. Mr Jameison of the Highland Home Industries taught three of us to weave on four shaft table looms. Soon after that I began to weave pure Arran wool rugs in twill on an 8 shaft foot-loom in the Findhorn studios. For over a year I wove five rugs a week, making frequent trips to a nearby mill in Elgin to purchase yarn from the end of ‘lots’.

Returning to New Zealand I took the opportunity to purchase five acres of gully land with a stream and a flock of black and coloured sheep. I became Jenny of ‘Riverweaver’.

What was the inspiration for this exhibition?

To make a presentation of Riverweaver pieces, ranging from the home grown & dyed fleece to kid mohair ‘colour merchant’ days, through to the super fine kid mohair of Rivermist – featherweight, delicate, resilient.

Rivermist - super fine, New Zealand, kid mohair by Jenny Fraser
Rivermist – super fine, New Zealand, kid mohair by Jenny Fraser
What’s one thing you’re working on for this exhibition that people don’t know about?

Environmental baskets made from ‘found fibres’.

Why should people come to your exhibition in person?

To discover the play of colour and design in hand woven fibre. To experience the journey travelled from raw sheep fleece, to super-fine kid mohair of New Zealand angora goats. To be inspired to select ‘found fibres’ from the natural world around, then twine, play and shape into baskets, bowls and more.

Coming soon

26 May – 26 June 2017
ArtsPost Galleries & Shop
120 Victoria Street, Hamilton

Gallery hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily

Opening preview: Thursday 25 May from 5.30 pm