Wednesday, March 12, 2008
In 1994 I had a studio at the Chocolate Factory, South Lismore, NSW. an art gallery studio complex that was the brainchild of local entrepreneur John Habbib. The Chocolate Factory got its name cause it used to be an Easter Egg factory, the sweet smell of sugar permeated the building. I was given the opportunity to curate the exhibition Lets Clay With Fire. This was to be the first major expo of leading ceramists of the Rainbow Region, the Northern Rivers of NSW. At that time and still to this day a number of nationally known artists tend not to exhibit in regional galleries but rely on the more buoyant opportunities that their city galleries provide. For this reason it was a major coup to stage this exhibition at that time. Through a combination of i) the Northern Rivers being a popular destination for artists to set up studios and ii) a flourishing ceramics program led by John Stewart at Lismore TAFE, a strong representation of studio ceramics had emerged in the region.