Friday, April 23, 2010

Leda and the Swan

Leda and the Swan (1986) MFA work, 210x 420x125. Collection Peter Amm (his previous home displaying the work is featured below) 

This particular work is one of my favourite sculptures. Made during my masters at UCT in 1986, it is the first work to feature on this blog specifically as a Gallery. Every so often I will feature an earlier work, the archival label will feature as a Gallery with the date - e.g. Gallery 1986 (as in this case). Visitors to the blog will be able to access all previous works this particular way. 

Ceramic Technique
Press- moulded in white stoneware clay. Airbrushed and painted with stained earthenware slips and under-glaze colours. A matt-black glaze was used as the base colour for the tongue. The 'fish' and 'asparagus' were glazed in a transparent earthenware glaze (painted on) Fired to 1060 degrees Celsius.  
Leda and the Swan - visual reference. (left) Greek god Zeus in the form of a swan (with Leda) Late Roman sculpture.

Imagery of Ceramic Sculpture
The mortal achieving immortality is represented sailing on a ship to the underworld. The figurehead, a swan, symbol of purity and the righteousness of God, ensures a happy death and safe journey to the underworld. 'Greek mythology is full of animal symbolism. Zeus, the father of the gods, often approaches a girl he desires in the shape of a swan, a bull or an eagle (Jung, Carl J. Man and his symbols). The protuberant tongue is symbolic of a change from darkness to light. The subject is enticed to become impregnated by the spirit, represented as God's phallus in the form of an asparagus. The asparagus pierces the Veil that once separated the mortal from immortality. The fish is symbolic of immortality; hence the metamorphosis of the two blissful twins, Youth and Joy.Zeus, the father of the gods, often approaches a girl he desires in the shape of a swan, a bull or an eagle (Jung, Carl J. Man and his symbols).

Peter Amm house, featuring the sculpture, Glen Beach, Cape Town. as cited in the Fair Lady Magazine in April of 1986. 

View of the atrium of the house; view towards the sea.

The stoep; view of the sea and the mountains.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ann Van Hoey's bowls are imbued with the quintessential of life itself.

Ann Van Hoey’s ceramic bowls are imbued with the quintessential of life itself.

Ceramics made with engineering and mathematical precision has found favour at the highest level. These clinically constructed, monochromatic ceramic statements take one’s breath away; both the enlightened consumer and more deservingly so, those well versed in ceramic traditions, are infatuated with these masterly crafted ceramic bowls. 
Not since Bodil Manz’s vessels (1943 Denmark - image courtesy Pulzceramics) took centre stage, has one stood in awe of work quite so inspiring – sophistication in simplicity. There is no surface decoration, nothing closely resembling any form of utilitarian function – cited by the artist herself as ‘purity of form’. The ceramic statements are unglazed, their surfaces are stripped bare; even more ‘naked’ than burnished pit-fired and or saggar fired pots, as well as the impermeable terra sigilata surface of Greek Vases. Made from clay and the form reminiscent of a ‘drop shape’ imbues the work with the quintessential of life itself.

Etude Géométrique; a variety of forms and shapes. average height H17x30x30cm earthenware clay

Edging in the rim and overlapping the walls of the bowls in exaggerated fashion, reminiscent of cutting and shaping paper, leather and material (the clay is actually cut with a pair of scissors), is what captures your imagination, when adoring these cutting edge ceramic bowls. The final ceramic statements are engineered with craft perfection, reminiscent of the Japanese paper craft ‘origami’. 

Made in white and red earthenware with the same kind of precision invested by the masters of their craft in producing Yixing teapots, Ann van Hoey has found her creative individual potential (centre). Embracing the ‘sterility' of in-fashion tableware, handcrafted by the craftsperson herself, the work permeates, heart, spirit and soul; unlike its industrially manufactured counterparts (white-ware). Mathematically conceptualized and clinically realized clay statements are not only what they are about – in essence, each one is a very simple, yet masterly crafted ceramic bowl. The work contrasts sharply with her almost Baroque inspired whimsical cups, the “Rozet” porcelain series; showcasing her creative confidence in diversity. The gestalt of her ceramic bowls has reached iconic status (an archetypal ceramic statement); a contemporary tribute to an ageless and classical tradition of hand crafted ceramic bowls, truly a benchmark for the 21st century.

Websites, videos and links - Ann Van Hoey.

Latest work. White earthenware clay (Image courtesy of the Artist's Website).
  • Quiet Design; sustainability & humility. Novelty is over. too much choice is confusing. Quiet design and humble classics are the answers.  One of the dominant influences, trends for the future, in keeping with the work of Van Hoey. For the complete list follow the link below ...five dominant influences
Living beautifully with hand crafted objects ......continued. Cited in Elle Decoration (UK edition) no 210 February 2010 - highlights 2010 Trends. The article is titled, This is tomorrow. A new year; a new start...but what does the future hold? Although tomorrow is never ours to know; the five dominant influences that will shape our homes, lives and the world of design can be predicted....What matters is what lasts (Michelle Ogundehin, February 2010, Elle Decoration 55. ). 

Ann Van Hoey - Recent Awards.
  • First prize at the international biennal "At the moment..." Kapfenberg, Austria.
  • Bronze Medal at "The 5th World Ceramic Biennale 2009 Korea".
  • Bronze Medal at the international biennal "Ceramica Multiplex" Varazdin Croatia.
  • Finalist for the "WCC-Europe Award for Contemporary Crafts 2009".
  • Selection for "World Best Design Exchange", Incheon, South-Korea.
  • Selection for the "Concours International 2009 Tasse et sous-tasse", Carouge, Switserland.
  • Selection for the "6th Cheongju International Craft Competition 2009", South-Korea.
  • Selection for the "IX Biennal International De Ceramica De Manises", Spain

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pierced Rats; Body Piercing Jewellery & Modelling the Prototypes

Piercing evokes all sorts of emotions within us and society still frowns upon it and deplores the practice thereof. Personal expression of this kind is a cultural phenomenon associated with the individual’s need to express him or herself in a culturally diverse and hybrid society (globalisation) - the coming together of cultures and groupings (collisions) and their social behaviour patterns and beliefs - the creolization of cultures

Modelling the prototype in C clay.  I wish to focus my attention on Body Piercing as an extension of my present research into body modification, scarification and tattoos referencing literary sources such as “Written on the Body” by Jane Caplan. The work will be a continuation of the Tattooed Rats series (follow link to Why Rats); however additions of piercing (actual piercing jewellery) will bring the focus on contemporary society’s fascination with body adornment, in a changing global society. The practice has its roots in indigenous knowledge; traditional culture rituals and was specifically associated with initiation ritual practices and rites of passage to manhood. It was reintroduced to contemporary society by gay men; they embraced piercing as a profound means for expressing their alternative sexuality. (follow links below to ballpoint pen drawings and graphics -ceramic explication). The ceramic statement is titled a spanner in the works - Operation spanner and refers to the controversial case of Operation Spanner.  
  1. Drawings of pierced rats
  2. Ceramic Explication.

Websites; Body Piercing Jewellery and Piercing studios.
I purchased the body piercing jewellery (image above) from Marisa at Tattoolya; Tattooing and Body piercing studio. She recommended that I visit the website of Wildcat - international supplier of  body piercing jewellery. The site is worth a visit to view the extensive and diverse collection of body piercing jewellery products.   
  • Body Piercing jewellery - Wildcat (international Retailer).
  • Piercing Studios - Tattoolya (Johannesburg South Africa).
  • The Piercing Bible site of Elayne Angel. The definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing. Elayne is the author of the book, titled The Piercing Bible available at Amazon below.
For a complete list of Blog posts - follow the link provided to blog catalogue. It is an easy way to select relevant posts (entries), you may wish to visit. Blog catalogue provides the title including an executive summary of all my posts, making it easy to select relevant and suitable topics based on your personal interests and focus area (alternatively  choose from the archives - left sidebar). It also provides a search for linked tags Thanks for visiting the blog.Trust you found the information useful and interesting. Please don't hesitate to contact me at or become a follower of my blog. 

Book; The piercing Bible – The definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing – Elayne Angel. (myspace link) This book is complete guide to piercing, including; the various types of piercings, body piercing jewellery, the medical procedures (healing times) as well as insight into traditions and practices.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter - no place like hell.

Early manuscript depicting hell.

Ever heard or seen the words on a placard turn or burn, and your stomach turned. Then you should find the following story enlightening.

No Place like Hell – an Alternative Easter message.
A man had two sons; he raised them with the intent that they should love and adore him, and to follow his example all the days of their lives. In lieu of their admiration, affection and unconditional love, they would inherit his estate, in all its comfort and glory.
The one son adored his father, loved him with all his heart, mind and soul and did his father proud (the apple of his eye). The other son however was more adventurous, seeking to follow his own desires, which in many ways termed him a rebel – he perceived his father to be too demanding, too protective and over zealous. He did not hate his father, but chose not to reciprocate his father’s love in quite the same way, as his brother.did. The father felt rejected, enraged, he demanded the son’s unconditional love and expressed his anger in emphatic fashion and laid down the gauntlet. The ultimatum was to surrender to his love and expressed will, or he would face the consequences.
Life continued as usual, and after many, many years of begging and relentless demands for his rebellious son’s love, he finally intervened and poured out his vengeance on his ungrateful son. He locked him up in the basement of his mansion, and started his relentless persecution and torture.
It would remain that way for the rest of their lives. The father reflected on what he had done and said “behold, it was very good – suitable, pleasant – and he approved it completely”. The one son pleased him, served and loved him and deserved his just reward, the father’s entire estate in all its glory. The second son, well he had met his fate – he will stay where he is, to be tormented forever, because he chose not to love his father. He was given every opportunity to express his love and affection, but he chose not to – he got what he deserved. Although the son respected his father, he visited him and they often had dinner together, he never honoured his father’s demands of total commitment; all of his time, love and affection. This was not forthcoming and the basement is therefore his destiny, there he will be tortured; forever a reminder of his selfish endeavour; choosing to love himself more than he loved his father. This is an act of defiance, punishable with eternal torment.

I am the God of love and I demand love in return – failure to love me with all your heart, mind and soul is not only ungrateful, but also selfish and you therefore you are doomed to hell – the place of grinding and gnashing of teeth.

Surely Not!
Surely the God of love that sent his son into the world to die on the cross, to save mankind once and for all, could not possibly have had so much hate in his heart, for those who chose not to love him and adore him, that he created a place like hell and condemn them to be tortured in it. Happy Easter!

I cant wait to see people burn in hell!
It is very upsetting to have someone laugh in your face when you are trying to explain to them that if they don't return Christ's love and accept Him as their personal saviour that they are going to be tortured and have all of the flesh burnt off their body every day for all of eternity in a literal lake of fire. Words taken from the website of the Landover Baptist church - follow link above.

Welcome to JesusLand! (Formerly the United States of America): Shocking Tales of Depravity, Sex, and Sin Uncovered by God's Favourite Church, Landover Baptist (Paperback)

Sites that promote the concept of Hell.
The Truth about Hell - Terry Watkins
Is there an actual place called 'Hell'? -
'Is there a hell'? - YouTube (videos)
Is there Really a Hell? - Rick Rood, Probe Ministries.

Sites that refute Hell.
Is there an ever burning hell - a Video (visual images of famous paintings), The Real Truth - David C Pack.
There is no Hell! - Universalists believe that God is too good to damn them. - Rev. Forrest Church.