Vessels of Knowledge Exhibition at Selwyn Gallery
14 July 2015Fancy a trip out to Darfield? If you're heading in that direction make sure to check out the University of Canterbury Art Collection exhibition:
Vessels of Knowledge: Studio Ceramics from the University of Canterbury Art Collection
The motto underneath the crest of the Christchurch College of Education, prior to its amalgamation with the University of Canterbury, read Disce ut Docea; learn that you may teach. Exhibiting a range of studio ceramics from the Christchurch College of Education (CCE) sub-collection, Vessels of Knowledge reflects this philosophy and takes both the pedagogical tradition within the College and a broader global lineage of pottery as its subject.
Much of the CCE collection was purchased in the 1970s and 1980s and illustrates the rise of art teaching in the national school curriculum – a period when ceramics were extremely popular and teachers could specialise in art education in their third year. At the time the Art Department staff numbered between eight to ten and a large number were practicing artists.
The works in the exhibition come from highly-regarded New Zealand potters including Len Castle, Doreen Blumhardt, Mirek Smisek, as well as the England-based practitioner Michael Cardew and the renowned Japanese potter Shoji Hamada. Both international potters visited New Zealand at separate times and worked closely with a number of the artists in Vessels of Knowledge. These objects weave a narrative of oceans crossed and influences and techniques passed on and adapted to local contexts.
Vessels of Knowledge is a rare opportunity to see some of the treasures of the University’s Art Collection, which, due to a number of practical reasons, including the public nature of display spaces and anti-earthquake measures, are not often exhibited.
Doreen Blumhardt (NZL), 1914-2009; Untitled [Large Bowl] Ceramic, glazed stoneware UC/CCE/013 UC Art Collection