FOUR local potters whose work is inspired by nature, the land and the sea, have teamed up to exhibit together for the first time this weekend. Sally Courage, Christine Lack, Teresa Munn and Moya Tosh, who live and work in Hampshire and Berkshire, are united by their love of the natural world and the organic feel of clay.The shapes, colours and textures of nature provide a common thread for their work but the variety of forms, glazes and techniques they use demonstrate a very personal and individual interpretation and response to what they see around them.
Sally Courage is guided by the need to produce a satisfying form for her pieces. She makes large abstract pots, loosely based on natural forms. They often appear organic in their final shape and she feels their big size provides more opportunity for the pots to grow and develop. Recently, birds have provided her inspiration. She said: “There is something about their shape, individual characteristics and attitude that appeals.”
Christine Lack has been exploring natural shapes in the landscape since childhood, collecting shells, stones and fossils. “Over time their influences overlap and blend within a single piece of work where the pursuit of fragile beauty is captured in strong form and line,” she said. She creates fine, delicate forms in stoneware and porcelain and layers them with colour and texture, using burnishing, resist and smoke-firing techniques.
Teresa Munn is captivated by both rural landscape and the shoreline beauty of the south coast. Her work aims to create a sense of place and capture a moment. She incorporates verse and text into her pieces, using slip-trailing on hand-built porcelain forms. “Verses are hand-trailed in clay like pages in a diary, conveying memories from walks along the coast. The movement of light over the handwritten slip generates ever-changing shadows, which echo the continuous movement of the tides,” she said.
Moya Tosh has been studying how the rural landscape changes through the seasons and her current work focusses on how it is “scored and scarred by stark ‘lines’ cutting across its undulations and curves – tractor tracks in fields of crops, frozen lines in winter puddles”. She emphasises the tension created by these lines and curves using cutting, piercing and wire thread in her thrown stoneware and porcelain pieces.
The exhibition is at the Red Steps Gallery, Whitway, from today (Friday) October to Sunday. Opening time: 10am to 4pm. Red Steps Gallery is the white house between the Carnarvon Arms and Highclere Castle.