The Corobrik National Ceramics Biennale

Exquisite new pieces on display at The Corobrik National Ceramics Biennale

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The full collection of traditional and modern ceramics is available for public viewing at The Corobrik National Ceramics Biennale.  The exhibition was opened at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery and Clay Museum in Durbanville on Sunday 11 November.

This year, the selected pieces were judged by British celebrity ceramicist, Kate Malone, recognisable from her role as an expert judge on the BBC series ‘The Great Pottery Throw Down’. Malone choose the winner for The Corobrik Award, a highly sought-after prize given to the creator of the exhibition’s best piece.   This Premier award was presented to Paul de Jongh for his large platter entitled  “ Koi Playing” along with a prize of R15 000. 

“South Africa has a long tradition of preserving historical narrative, and reflecting cultural heritage, through beautiful medium of ceramic arts,” said Musa Shangase, Corobrik’s Commercial Director. “The use of fired clay to create something truly inspiring resonates with the Corobrik brand, and we are proud to continue our support of this incredibly unique exhibition.”

The Corobrik Collection was established in 1977 and five years later Corobrik  assumed sponsorship of Ceramics South African. The partnership worked well and, in 1996,it was decided to form a Trust between the two organisations with Corobrik providing funds that allowed for the acquisition of new ceramic pieces every two years. A decade later, Corobrik, Ceramics Southern Africa (SA) and The Pretoria Art Museum signed a Memorandum of Understanding that strengthened the existing partnership, allowing for the housing of The Corobrik Collection at the prestigious museum. 

The Corobrik Collection has since grown to almost 300 exquisite clay pieces, with between 100 and 200 displayed, at any one time, in special glass casings at the museum. The Corobrik National Ceramics Biennale – which alternates between the Western Cape and Gauteng - gives the public a rare glimpse of the entire collection, including any new pieces that have been acquired. To ensure the artwork displayed is always a true reflection of the ever-changing society, the trustees visit various rural areas countrywide where they uncover work by highly talented traditional potters.

“Many of South Africa’s leading ceramic artists have had their first exposure to the public through the Ceramics SA National exhibitions and the Corobrik Collection,” explained Dr Ralph Johnson of Ceramics SA. “This is an historic collection, the only one of its kind in South Africa, and features the best ceramics from all parts of the country, including the very significant contribution made by the rural potters over the past 48 years. Corobrik has played a large role in the cultural and artistic development of the ceramic arts through this long and fruitful collaboration with Ceramics SA.”

The Corobrik National Ceramics Biennale exhibition, organised by Ceramics SA Western Cape, forms part of ‘Ceramics Month’ in Cape Town which includes several events and activities celebrating the artistic medium. This event welcomes ceramic artists from across South Africa to enter their work for possible selection into the biennale exhibition.

Other awards presented include: 

Merit award;  with a prize of R5000   to Catharina Pagani  for the piece entitled “Two Waves”

Merit award ; with a prize of R5000  to  Chuma Maweni   for the  Smoke fired vessel

Merit award ;   with a prize of R5000   to  Ian garret and John Newdigate  for the large porcelain vessel “Fat insects and their larvae” 

Nick Booth or Corobrik purchased Chuma Maweni’s  vessel to add to the Corobrik Collection

Alongside the Corobrik National Ceramics Biennale will be the fun Curious Creatures ceramic sculpture garden, as well as a brick art installation which will be erected by the acclaimed land artist and sculptor, Strijdom van der Merwe. Visitors to Rust-en-Vrede on 1 December will also enjoy the Spot Market, a curated pottery market with live music, food trucks, and ‘clay play’ for the children. 

The exhibition runs from 11 November until 4 December 2018 

For more information, visit www.ceramics-sa-cape.co.za.

 

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