We are pleased to present this exhibition by the Glenreagh based potter Rob Slingsby. After a successful career as a professional potter living and working in Sydney Slingsby relocated to the North Coast in 1994.
With numerous exhibitions in Sydney along with being published in many respected magazines, this solo exhibition in Sawtell is his first opportunity to reveal his skills and considerations to our regional audience. .
The exhibition of earthenware terracotta clay vessels hand spun on the wheel conveys the potter’s fascination with clay pottery from ancient times. Slingsby interprets the notions of traditional functionality, decoration and form with his own narrative and a contemporary aesthetic.
Clay is one of the earliest incarnations of technology in human society and pre-dated the Bronze Age by thousands of years. The simple act of leaving (possibly accidently) clay in a fire changed everything. The discovery the following morning when the fire had died down that the clay had become hard and the possibilities that arose from this discovery affected the course of human evolution. With pottery and ceramics there are two main elements – form and surface. I believe if the form is strong, less energy is needed to develop the surface or decoration. Functionality is where form is derived from. The philosophy behind my art practice is for my work to compliment the environment it is placed in. Space is a beautiful thing and you have to use it wisely.
My pottery is a contemporary version of traditional forms. My forms have crispness and precision to them that reflects current times. This new body of work is influenced by what’s come before in history but with my own sensibilities. It’s all thrown on a wheel in terracotta clay. My aim is to develop form with freshness and vitality and importantly an efficiency of movement – it has a lot to do with the sense of touch. I’ve been working in terracotta for some time now. Australia is covered in iron oxide and terracotta for me represents the essence of this country. Countries such as Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal; in the Middle East and the America’s have a long history and traditions of using terracotta. The saying is “the history of clay is the history of humanity”.
Rob Slingsby November 2015