Two dear friends Katherine Glenday and Sarah Boustred are currently in New York for the opening (tonight) of Katherine's exhibition Movement to Light. This is another of those times when I get to practice 'presence in absence.' I would dearly love to be able to bridge the physical divide in order to link arms with them in Soho at 6.30PM this evening; this is when the doors to Amaridian Gallery will open and those lucky enough to be there will encounter Katherine's inspired new ceramic installation for the first time.
Katherine, Sarah and I flatted together in the early 1980's during Pietermaritzburg student days; the three of us traipsed around in leather sandals and hand-embroidered kaftans and lived on a diet of fresh air, granny-smith apples, dessicated coconut, baked potatoes and the occasional cheese fondu. Katherine & I were studying Fine Arts & Sarah, midwifery. That was then, this is now... Distance (Cape Town, Colorado, Dunedin are the current coordinates of our friendship) means we don't often have the luxury of time a trois these days, but where two are gathered, the third is there also - a comforting thought when distance pangs.
Katherine's new ceramic installation is guaranteed to be a stunner; her work is profound on many levels, celebrating as it does fragility and strength, ebb and flow, the complex dance of humanity with all its rawness and splendour. She's drawn to liminality and the 'edge.' In her bid to communicate the interconnectedness between all things, she uses translucent porcelain to express the creative tension between dark and light, masculine and feminine energies, decay and transformation, constancy and flux. Her work is process laid bare, unashamed in its honesty and scrupulous in its integrity.
During the time we've been down here, Sam and I - together with divers/cameramen Henry Kaiser and Shawn Harper - have collaborated closely with Katherine, and with Christina Bryer.
Three months ago, eleven of Katherine's ceramic vessels and seven of Christina's porcelain forms (3, 7, 11 = prime numbers, all) embarked on a journey that took them from Cape Town to my Dunedin studio, and from there to Explorers Cove. They've accompanied us on many an unlikely adventure down here, riding with us in boxes, backpacks and helicopters, on skidoos, a banana sled, a six-wheeler. They've crossed stony desert landscape, pristine snow and jagged sea ice. They've seen the inside of tide cracks, been placed in the mouth of a glacier and on the ocean floor, 85 feet below the sea ice. They've spent time in the company of divers, science equipment, sunshine, snow, katabatic winds, silence, pycnogonids (sea spiders), ophiuroids (brittle sea stars), nemerteans (ribbon worms) and adamussium colbecki (scallops), hydroids, pterapods (sea butterflies) and inquisitive little rock cod, Trematomus bernacchii. It would be interesting to hear the porcelain's tales...
Underwater photography: Shawn Harper
Here is a link to Amaridian's website where you will find Katherine's Movement to Light exhibition, together with images of work by fellow collaborating artists, Christina Bryer, Chris Bladen, Stephen Inggs, Andile Dyalcane & Nick Bladen.