The exhibition Form and Fire features ceramic works produced by the members of Contemporary Studio Ceramics Barbados – Lynn Haynes, Gail Riley, Martina Pilé, Ancel Daniel, Melanie D’Oliveira and Juliana Inniss. This show is quite significant as it highlights a broad range of works in clay, firing approaches and making methods by female ceramicists. This group emerged out of the ten featured ceramists who exhibited in a show at The Barn Art Centre for CARIFESTA 13, 2017.
As the title of the show suggests, the works explore the capacity of clay to assume form, both hand-built and wheel-thrown. Lynn Haynes throws porcelain vessels on the wheel and embellishes them with flowers and other tropical themes; she fires in an electric kiln at temperatures upwards of 1200˚C. Gail Riley hand builds works from indigenous terracotta clay and Chalky Mount white clay, incorporating other local clays as slips. She too fires in an electric kiln just below 1150°C. Ancel Daniel hand builds clay masks which are then incorporated into 2D mixed media works. In this exhibition, Melanie D’Oliveira works are inspired by tropical fruit forms which she fires in her modified gas kiln to around 1060˚C. Martina Pilé’s hand-built and wheel-thrown work incorporates sgraffito (incised lines) into tiles, bottles and dishes, and she will exhibit her first Raku works in this show. Juliana Inniss finishes her hand-built vessel forms using alternative firing techniques such as Raku, Naked Raku, Saggar and Sawdust firing, all at low temperatures between 850°C to under 1000˚C.
These ladies all manipulate the elements of earth, air, and fire, creating beautiful and unique expressions of the ceramic art form. Although each uses different making and firing techniques, they all share a love for and near obsession with clay. This passion for clay is by no means isolated to these six featured ceramicists, as a number of established and emerging potters continue to create in Barbados. Globally, ceramics is a thriving art form, and indeed this exhibition coincides with Ceramics Art London (CAL), the UK’s leading Ceramics event, which features 91 exhibiting ceramic makers from Britain, Japan, Korea, Germany and the Netherlands. This event will include demonstrations and Clay Talks, with reports being presented on the first Indian Ceramic Triennale and the National Ceramics Competition for Southern Africa.