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Art in Clay 2011 – Potters no longer with us

Exhibition dates: 1 to 30 October 2011

Seventy-seven thousand years ago on a cold, wet and windy Western Cape winter’s day, a local potter was sheltering in her cave at Blombos on the south coast near Klein Kliphuis. She picked up a piece of clay-like ochre, and scratched on the surface an abstract rendering of the rain slashing down outside. This object survived and is the oldest known artwork in the world. Celebrating this skillful art of pottery, six art galleries in Franschhoek celebrated the first installment of the Art in Clay Festival.

The exhibition at La Motte Museum entailed a collection of ceramics from prominent ceramic artists who had a significant impact and influence on ceramics in South Africa. This exhibition with historically significant pottery from IZIKO and Ceramics SA was curated by Monica Ross from the Rust and Vrede Clay Museum.

Prominent South African ceramic artists work exhibited:

  • Esias Bosch
  • Hyme Rabinowitz
  • Tim Morris
  • Sonja Gerlings
  • Marietjie van der Merwe
  • Barbara Jackson
  • Bonnie Ntshalintshali

Apart from the historic exhibition in the La Motte Museum, other Franschhoek art galleries that took part:

Artefact, the Ceramics Gallery, EBONY, Grande Provence Art Gallery and IS Art. Each gallery showed their own selection of ceramic artists, presenting different aspects of the art at each venue granting a unique opportunity to appreciate South African ceramics.

A special feature of the Franschhoek initiative included a Pottery Fair on the grounds of the beautiful Franschhoek Dutch Reformed Church and ‘pop-up’ Sunday lunches cooked by well-known chefs in art galleries designed to showcase and promote the use of ceramic dinnerware made by Western Cape potters.

A special thank you to Monica Ross from Rust en Vrede Clay Museum (guest curator) and the IZIKO Museums – Social History collection for their collaboration with the Potters no longer with us exhibition.


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