Sunday, 3 June 2012

Spring birds, hecklers and sweet songs of success

A gorgeous red cardinal lidded vase by Lucky Rabbit Pottery, thanks to Deb for sharing these photos.

It is freezing outside in St. John's and it is June 3rd.  I feel sorry for the tourists shivering on the streets as they try and see the sights, with only the brightly coloured houses to keep them warm.  The sun may be shining but there is a fierce wind blowing that feels like it could scalp you. However there is one place in town where I can pretend it is a warm spring – at the Lucky Rabbit show at the Craft Council. 

 I am happy to report that nearly half of their show was sold when I checked in on my way to a meeting last Wednesday on the 3rd floor of the Craft Council building. If anybody has their eye on a pot they'd better get down there soon for their dose of affordable luxury.  Oh yes, the show closes on the 10th of June but with the way the show is selling I wouldn't wait too long. 

Guess Ray must have taken this one.  Left to right: Deb, me holding a piece and pontificating, Sharon LeRiche holding the vinyl lettering for the show title.

When Deb and Ray were in town to set the show up I also had an opportunity to talk with them and see the work.  I was eager to because I had curated a show for them a while back and was curious to see what had changed and what had stayed the same.  It's still gorgeous with lovely bursts of colour, hand shaped birds and Deb's lively organic decoration.  To me her work has the energy of a grafitti artist, the freedom and expressiveness.  I was also happy to see some of the olive celadon pots with the carved surfaces.  Deb's decoration is so outgoing it is often easy to overlook the strong, quiet forms that Ray throws.  In the celadon work the forms are more apparent and the carving also traps the lusciousness of the glaze too.  To me, these are more potter's pots than some of their other vessels.

Lucky Rabbit's more characteristic bright sunshine colours contrasted nicely with the mushroom grey of some of the pedestals that had been painted for Michael Flaherty's white antler-shard pieces.  It was a happy accident.

I got to see Deb and Ray again at NSCAD as they attended the mini-symposium.  Ray didn't heckle me as he had playfully threatened at the Craft Council.  What can I say?  The man's a renagade and I would have just heckled back.  I wish them well and hope to see another curator pick up and interpret their work.  There are very strong trends these days in the fine art world towards decoration.  Everybody from Lynn Cohen's photographs of surreal coloured interiors to Damien Hirst's butterfly collages and diamond-encrusted skulls are playing with the decorative impulse.  There is a lot that could be said about Lucky Rabbit's work that hasn't been written about…yet.

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