The giraffes and kangaroos first grabbed our attention as we wandered into Burt Street Gallery on a wintry Friday night.
In from the chill, we were immediately warmed by our lively and colourful surrounds: an astonishing array of lively ceramic critters, artfully sculpted bowls and vases, and beautiful clay creations galore.
The occasion: the annual Selective Exhibition of Contemporary Ceramics held by Perth Studio Potters at their Cottesloe premises.
In all, 27 artisans were showcasing the best of their works (all of which was for sale, at extremely reasonable prices.)
Perth Studio Potters, started in 1957, is WA’s oldest pottery studio and has fostered the talents of many prominent artisans.
Their works are showcased at several exhibitions each year but the Selective Exhibition is perhaps the most eagerly awaited event. It’s when a prominent member of the WA arts scene is called on to judge the works.
This year Kathryn Stafford, of Gallows Gallery, was doing the honours, and she readily admitted to the opening night crowd she’d been astonished at how high the standard was at this suburban gallery.
“The quality and diversity here is fantastic,” she enthused. “It’s been great to come back here and be reminded what’s just around the corner!”
It came as no surprise that Lily Mercer, the creator of those brightly coloured giraffes and kangas who first caught our eye, won an Honourable Mention for her endearing pieces.
So did Caroline Goodlet – whose fine teapots would enhance any afternoon gathering – Jenny Gilbertson, Jane Aitken, Sow Fong Khoo and Valerie Schoenjahn.
Carol Laseur won a Technical Award, Jane McNabb the Creative Award.
And Selectors Choice went to Jackie Masters, for a magnificent gold scraffito bowl.
Congrats to all the winners!
The works are still on display, and though many are now adorned with red stickers, you can still pick up some lovely pieces.
Burt Street Gallery, in Burt St, Cottesloe, is open every Saturday.
Burt St Gallery is open every Saturday 10am to 4pm.
1 Burt St Cottesloe.
For more info visit www.perthstudiopotters.org.au
Photography: Peter Rigby