Stewart Scambler

“State of the West”

Stewart Scambler, Wood-fired bowl. c. 2008

David and I have just spent a week in Perth. While there we visited the Fremantle Arts Centre and bought this wood-fired bowl by Stewart Scambler, a long-time potter and teacher who is currently president of the Ceramic Arts Association of Western Australia (CAAWA). Scambler specialises in wood firing and he and his wife Trish also produce maiolica domestic ware.

That same afternoon we were lucky enough to catch The State of the West: A Ceramic Survey 2008 at the Central TAFE Art Gallery. This exhibition, which closed yesterday, was a survey of works made in the last year by 45 of the best established and emerging Western Australian ceramic artists as selected by CAAWA. Many of the artists represented, including Scambler himself, were known to us but we were able to ‘collect’ a number of new potters.

David thought that the ceramic sculptures in the exhibition by Bela Kotai were standouts – monumental in form yet finely carved. I loved the figurative works by Fleur Schell, Amanda Shelster and Wing Chow. We would have been happy to find a home for almost every piece, but selected just three – raku pots in contrasting styles by Njalikwa Chongwe and Francine Haine and a lustre vase by Tova Dilkes-Hoffman.

An exhibition catalogue on CD was for sale for $10. It contained a pdf file with a complete set of artists’ statements, CVs and pictures, but no marks, unfortunately! I was pleased to have the file but would have liked to see this information published online with a “creative commons” licencing approach and a bookmarkable location. (I hope this will happen now the exhibition is closed.)