Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ann Van Hoey in four dimensions

Ann van Hoey; Ceramic Bowl (photograph Eugene Hon)
Living at the tip of the African continent has it's advantages, especially when your country was the flavour of the month; hosts of the successful soccer football world-cup. We have arguably one of the best climates in the world (sunny-blue skies), lots of space, the game farms (big five) and the famous Table mountain. But if there is one thing that is a huge disadvantage, it's our isolation from the international art, craft and  design community. Exposure is not necessarily a problem for us (thanks to the Internet), but seeing it in the flesh, is out of reach for most South Africans. Our galleries and museums don't have the resources to purchase contemporary art and crafts. Ceramics in particular has a problem, this is due to it's tactile qualities and the nature of the surface quality; that can never be fully appreciated, unless it is tangible. Only when you handle the work up close, do you get to see it's true value; the master craftsmanship. This is demonstrated in a number of ways, in the construction skills, the form, shape and more importantly the development of the surface; that I refer to here as the fourth dimension.
Ann van Hoey; Ceramic Bowl (photograph Eugene Hon)

A case in point was when Ann van Hoey visited South Africa during the football world cup. She did a workshop for the local ceramic's community; especially the members of Ceramics SA. She happened to bring a few of her works to the workshop, for members to appreciate in the flesh - experience up close. Scale is always an issue when artifacts can only be viewed through the media. Believe me when I say, that to handle one of Van Hoey's bowls and teacups in the flesh is just incredible. To own one  is even more valuable. I have a very particular taste and I am proud to say that her work, images posted here, rates as one of my most prized possessions.  For an appraisal of her work, written by the author of this blog, follow the link provided here - Ann Van Hoey’s ceramic bowls are imbued with the quintessential of life itself. Or the label below.
Ann van Hoey. Ceramic Bowl. Collection Eugene Hon
Photograph Eugene.

Ann van Hoey; Ceramic Bowl (photograph Eugene Hon)
Ann Van Hoey. Ceramic Bowl.
Collection and Photograph - Eugene Hon.


Unknown said...

Hi Eugene, I agree with you completely about the value of seeing work 'in the flesh' so to speak. Not only was it wonderful to see the work but even more valued was meeting Ann during her visit here.
I must compliment your images, really great. I think I must let you try your hand at shooting some of my pieces!

jim said...

hi eugene, i remember that other post that you did featuring ann's work. they do call out to be handled... maybe some day i'll get to hold one. it's such a simple idea the folding of thin sheets yet the results are sublime. i often feel privileged, in a sense, for the very thing you mention (the fourth dimension) as my good friend who has such a collection of ancient chinese/vietnamese/thai pottery allows me, while visiting, to paw them to my heart's content and it is very satisfying to hold objects so beautiful and think of an anonymous craftsperson that lived 1000 years before me. lovely photos of ann's piece, it's obvious how much you love the piece