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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Glen Eira City Council presents Stories in clay: Arthur Merric Boyd Pottery



Celebrating one of Australia’s most innovative, significant and vibrant post-war potteries, Glen Eira City Council’s Gallery presents Stories in clay: Arthur Merric Boyd Pottery (AMB), from Saturday 2 November until Sunday 15 December.

The exhibition recognises the creative achievements of the Arthur Merric Boyd Pottery (AMB), established in 1944 by artists Arthur Boyd, John Perceval, and philosopher and artist Peter Herbst.

AMB Pottery, Murrumbeena. Arthur Boyd. 1945 (detail) Photos: J. Gallagher (Southwest Pacific, no. 18, c 1947)

Located at 500 (now 502) Neerim Road in Murrumbeena the pottery was aimed at meeting post-war demands manufacturing functional domestic ware until the focus of the studio changed by the late 1940s when colourful, experimental and vibrant one-off earthenware pieces began emerging.

Decorated with angels, beasts, portraits, and Australian flora and fauna motifs, Arthur Merric Boyd Pottery were producing unique coffee and tea sets, bowls, carafes, plates, jugs, decanter sets, vases, and applying tiles to coffee tables.

Arthur Merric Boyd Pottery, Murrumbeena, (manufacturer) Neil Douglas (potter and decorator) Bowl 1950-53 Earthenware 12.2 x 34.7 cm diameter National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased from Admission Funds, 1990 (D14-1990)

“The AMB Pottery produced some of the most original ceramics ever made in this country. The artists who worked there weren’t influenced by tradition or by the styles of the times and felt free to create whatever forms, shapes and designs they wanted. Magic was made at the AMB and we are all so much richer for it”, Colin Smith said.

Curated by Diane Soumilas, the exhibition features works by major Australian artists Arthur Boyd, John Perceval, Neil Douglas, Yvonne Boyd and associated potters on loan from the National Gallery of Victoria, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Shepparton Art Museum, and many private collections. A selection of earthenware tiles and ceramic sculptures by Arthur Boyd, John Perceval’s expressive ceramic angel sculptures conceived at AMB Pottery, bowls and other related works are included in this exhibition.

“I remember after school, catching the tram with my brother and sister to The Murrumbeena pottery where John and Mary (my father and mother) were working. The pottery smelt of glazes and clay dust and because of the kilns, it was warm. Neil Douglas was decorating lovely Australian scenes with kangaroos. My mother was turning pots by, what seemed like, the 100s sometimes. John had a strong presence and I remember watching him create things with such a confident, direct action. There were humour and seriousness in what he was doing whether it was throwing or decorating, he was making jugs and mugs and plates at that time,” daughter and artist Celia Perceval said.

“This exhibition provides an opportunity to view mid-20th-century pottery by major Australian artists such as Arthur Boyd, John Perceval and Neil Douglas who produced vibrant and extraordinary one-off earthenware pieces in the collaborative and creative environment at the AMB Pottery. This period of exciting experimentation with the ceramic medium is captured in the exhibition” The Council’s Curator Diane Soumilas said.

AMB Pottery, Murrumbeena. John Perceval. 1945 (detail) Photos: J. Gallagher (Southwest Pacific no. 18, c 1947)

A dynamic series of public programs have been scheduled during the exhibition. For further information and to book, visit www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/gallery

Glen Eira City Council Gallery
Corner Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield
Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm
Saturday and Sunday 1-5pm
Closed all public holidays.

Mick Pachollihttp://www.tagg.com.au
Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.