Maiden Mount, one of the founding members of the Identifying Australian Pottery group on Flickr, has just added a detailed topic on the ceramic sculptor Vladimir Tichy, who arrived in Australia from Czechoslovakia as a political refugee in 1968. The information, mostly obtained from Tichy himself, gives us a greater understanding of the influence of European emigrants on the diversity of work being produced in Sydney in the 1970s and 1980s, and Tichy’s significance as an architectural ceramicist.
There is little on the public record about Tichy’s life and work and many of his architectural commissions (like those of Tom Sanders) have been demolished. Janet Mansfield, interviewed when one of Tichy’s murals was rescued from demolition in 2002, commented that his work was undervalued and that he had been a leader in Australia and an example to the ceramic arts community at the time the mural was made . It is good news, therefore, to hear from Maiden Mount that his personal papers and photographs are likely to find a home at the State Library of NSW, and that negotiations are underway to redress his lack of representation in public collections.
We don’t yet have an example of Tichy’s work in our own collection, but I was taken by this image of one of his ceramic sculptures entitled ‘Yoga’ from the Sculptors Society Australia Square Exhibition Gallery 2006. I was sitting in a very similar Matsyendrasana pose just last night at the Bemboka Primary School where I ‘enjoy’ yoga classes twice a week.
- Kerrie O’Connor, “Angel in overalls is now a Czech mate”, Illawarra Mercury, 8 June 2002