Monday, 25 March 2013

Joanne Copp's ceramics in words and pictures

Joanne Copp's burnished vessels are noted for their luminous gold-leaf interiors.

In this day and age of all things digital it is a distinct pleasure to have and hold a gorgeous book replete with stunning images, memorable words and let us not forget –that new book smell.  Jonathon Bancroft-Snell has been busy at work on his second book about Canadian ceramics in conjunction with the publisher Ronald P Frye, based in Toronto.  Happily for us clay-junkies, according to the RPF website, they are continuing their "new series, which will seek to change the way Canadians think and appreciate Canadian ceramics." I had the opportunity to see the book before publication as I was invited to contribute a blurb for the back cover.  This is what I said:

Noted gallerist Jonathon Bancroft-Snell gives us a rare insight into one of Canada's most enigmatic ceramic artists.  Through poetic images and words, we gain a view of Joanne Copp's creative process and art that could well be a description of the woman herself –born of waves, wind and mystery and shaped by patience, time and dedication.

Gloria Hickey, author of Craft in a Consuming Society and editor of Making & Metaphor: A Discussion of Meaning in Contemporary Craft.

Jonathon asked me to read the manuscript because he felt that I understood his motivation, namely to get the public to connect with the artist and develop an understanding of the person behind the work.  As viewers and collectors we each bring our own unique agenda to a work of art.  This gets broadened when we have the opportunity to meet with the artist and that relationship enriches the experience of owning art and in turn gets shared with those that visit the collector's home,  In my own experience, I think it is safe to say that when collectors purchase a work of art they are in effect buying a piece of the artist.  Unfortunately, Copp has passed away and so the number of works is limited.  Copp was always a private person and carefully controlled what was circulated about her career.  Bancroft-Snell notes in his book that her resume did not contain any information about her early career before she emersed herself in ceramics.  I can imagine his curiosity and frustration.

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