Paul Ricketts, chair of the Friends sent a brilliantly worded email to encourage people to attend this talk by Mike Yates which I'll include at the end of my piece, because he knows a lot about the collections, and it makes a good summary.
Mike started by giving us a short history of the making of pots, then talked a bit about his favourite potters of the 20th Century and finished by talking about his favourite ceramic pieces he'd put on display in the display cases, and then showed us a video featuring Jim Malone who has an exhibition at the Oxford Ceramics Gallery, 29, Walton Street from 10th- 25th November www.oxfordceramics.co.uk
I'll include photos of the pieces I particularly liked, but first, a view of people looking at the ceramics after the talk:
The pot on the left is by Jim Malone and the one on the right is one of Aki Moriuchi's pots.
In front of the pots is the cover of the Jim Malone DVD.
And finally, while Mike was talking, Paul was making his own rather artistic display:
If you missed this talk, or would like to hear Mike Yates talking about 'Drawing a Line in Space', introducing us to some of the masterpieces of British Studio Pottery to be found in the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery's collection, come along to the Museum on the 9th of November at 12.30pm-1.15pm
A Friends of Swindon Museum talk
Friday 26th October 7.30 pm
Swindon Museum & Art Gallery, Bath Road, Old Town, Swindon, Wilts SN1 4BA
Fine Art Ceramics have long been the Cinderella of our culture - nobody
has been sure if they are art or just a craft. But since Grayson Perry
won the Turner Prize in 2003 awareness of ceramics as art has been
growing nationwide, but has that awareness stretched as far as the world
class collection of ceramics hidden away in Old Town, Swindon. Many
people are now aware of the Swindon Collection of Art and how it is one
of the foremost collections of 20th century British Art in the country.
Now is more than time to start bragging about our collection of
ceramics with key pieces by such great potters as Lucie Rie, Hans Coper,
Ivan Martin and Katherine Pleydell Bouverie.
Mike Yates will talk about Swindon ’s hidden gem and how the ceramics
collection needs to be talked of as art just as much as the paintings on
the walls. His talk will incorporate an introduction to 20th Century
Studio Pottery and possibly will explain why so many of the great
potters lived and worked so close to Swindon in the Cotswolds. The talk
will be followed with a film on the craft of pot making by potter,Jim
This is the first of two linked talks by Mike Yates, the second
(‘Drawing a Line in Space’) is being run by Swindon Museum & Art
Gallery at 12.30pm on Friday November 9th. Mike is a retired journalist
with a passionate interest in studio ceramics and who recently hosted
an exhibition of African art and carvings at Artsite in Theatre Square,
Swindon. The works in the collection were mostly acquired during the
1970s and 1980s on a budget of the thinnest of shoestrings, with the
additional support provided by the MGC/V&AGrant in Aid fund and the
Contemporary Art Society. The quality of the collection would not have
been possible without the exceptional perception and dedication of Peter
Burgess from Swindon College, who acted as the collection’s advisor.
“The Swindon Collection, therefore, gives us a microcosm, as it were, of
the great diversity and richness of twentieth century studio ceramics,
ranging from the utilitarian and functional to the conceptual and
sculptural, the clay and its possibilities being explored to the full
and the only limits being the imagination and skill of each individual
Barbara Kent (from the introduction to the Swindon Ceramics catalogue)