Wednesday 7 November 2012

Eddie Curtis

I have been a fan of Eddie Curtis' work for a while, so it was a great pleasure seeing his ceramics, and particularly the latest work at the Oxford Ceramics Fair.

This red, which I associate with Curtis, is so vibrant but it's the depth of the glazes that is so astonishing.

looking inside

This pale turquoise is another Curtis trademark colour

and who would have thought that turquoise and bright red would go together, but in this case, it works!

The blast series

It is the blast series that has totally bawled me over

'I recently revisited a particular stretch of coastline, locally referred to as 'The Blast' near my home town, Seaham. I hadn't been there for nearly forty years. It had been the dumping ground for the local coal mine until the mines were closed in the eighties. Nature has made an amazing attempt to reclaim what is hers and the ravages of industry have been softened to a degree where a strange lunar kind of landscape now prevails.

The sea has removed nearly all of the detritus and continues to eat away the coal/sand aggregate, leaving an exposed shelf, revealing varying strata of industrial waste. At the foot of the limestone cliffs an iron inclusion weeps red-brown stains into the marooned rock pools. Sun baked mud dries cracked and crazed with visceral ooze seeping between the gaps. There is an overload of visual metaphor and yet a strange stark beauty has won over.

In a screen play of the late sixties and in a dirge with the same title 'Close the Coalhouse Door' the true face of coal is shockingly revealed:

Close the coalhouse door, lad. There's blood inside,
Blood from broken hands and feet
Blood that's dried on pit-black meat,
Blood from hearts that know no beat.
Close the coalhouse door, lad. There's blood inside.


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