Notes from our first meeting to discuss a proposal for an exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich.
Andrea and I both agreed that we would approach this with the absolute intention of curating an exhibition ‘ for real’. We have therefore chosen quite deliberately to propose something that is not fashionable or trendy, or time sensitive – it could fit comfortably in the the SC’s exhibition programme at any time and could be adapted to occupy a larger or a smaller space.
We feel the most appropriate space to use would be ‘link gallery 1’.
Using works from the SC’s ceramics collection we will devise an exhibition that will be strongly family-friendly while also appealing to regular gallery visitors and those with some specialist knowledge.
1. Choose 2-3 key ancient pieces from collection to illustrate early ceramic techniques.
Chinese “Mythical Beasts” – clearly originally polychromed. Get UEA science department to do pigment analysis, then computer generated image of what might have looked like originally.
2. 1 or 2 pieces from contemporary collection (I spotted some Michael Flynn sculptures – I think – in the restoration studio) to demonstrate modern styles/ techniques
3. Scientific advances/medical/industrial uses for ceramics – eg knife blades. Check with UEA science, medicine depts.
4. Hands-on: examples to handle. Demonstrate huge variety of ceramics we take for granted every day, eg mug, ceramic tiles.
Examples of different clays (probably would have to be fired first).Get local potter to make series of vessels showing the different firing stages to completion.
5. Example of ancient potter techniques? (Get Beryl Hines or similar). Photographs of ancient styles of kiln, eg Roman bottle kiln* *If really ambitious project, could use bigger gallery and even build small kiln in situ – could be done over a few days and invite public to watch it being built. Display of (copies of) ancient tools.
6. Talks by leading potters. Throwing demonstrations, workshops – supervised, planned. Handling sessions?
7. Wall text to include timelines (for kids – illustrated in a fun way, not just boring numbers), temperature chart – pictures of what happens when things go wrong! (eg earthenware melts at too high a temperature – maybe have some examples with explanations?)