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Jan Grove, Sake set (early 1970s)

Jan Grove, Sake set (early 1970s) [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria BC, Oct 5-Feb 3] Private collection, Photo: Stephen Topfer

Back to the Land: Ceramics from Vancouver Island
and the Gulf Islands 1970-1985

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Victoria, BC– Oct 5, 2012-Feb 3, 2013

Robin Hopper, detail Parabolic Mocha Diffusions (1978)

Robin Hopper, detail Parabolic Mocha Diffusions (1978) [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria BC, Oct 5-Feb 3] Collection of the artist, photo: Stephen Topfer

Ian Steele

Photo of Ian Steele, 1973 [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria BC, Oct 5-Feb 3] Art Gallery of Greater Victoria archive

During the ‘70s, Diane Carr owned a ceramics gallery located in the heart of Victoria. The Potter’s Wheel was an important and dynamic centre where local artists often met to exchange ideas and see each other’s work. Carr is particularly well suited as curator of this fascinating exhibit of ceramics made during an intensely creative period in the then rural and relatively isolated communities on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. According to Carr, this is the first time this era has been researched and documented.

In pursuit of relatively cheap land and freedom from the considerable pressures of society, talented potters from around the world including Bryon Johnstad, Robin Hopper, Wayne Ngan, Walter Dexter, and many others, converged in this region during the ‘60s, ‘70s and early ‘80s. These potters brought with them important influences, namely Bauhaus/Modernism, Abstract Expressionism, the Shoji Hamada/Bernard Leach tradition, forever altering the evolution of ceramic art on the islands.

General interest in pottery exploded during this period and consequently many of the region’s ceramic departments were developed during this time; many of the 31 artists featured in this exhibit are or were teachers who influenced later generations. With 163 pieces on display, Back to the Land promises to be an especially illustrative display of our local ceramics movement.

Christine Clark





















Denys James, Handbuilt form (c. 1977)

Denys James, Handbuilt form (c. 1977) [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria BC, Oct 5-Feb 3] Collection of the artist, photo: Stephen Topfer

Wayne Ngan, Teapot (1973)

Wayne Ngan, Teapot (1973), [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria BC, Oct 5-Feb 3] Collection of the artist, photo: Stephen Topfer


 Sun, Nov 4, 2012