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This new display, the first of a number of raids on the Collection to be made by invited friends and curators, is inevitably my personal trawl - but it has turned out to be more autobiographical than I realised. Many of these represented here - Joanna Constantinidis, Jim Malone, Gillian Lowndes, Bryan Illsley, Gordon Baldwin, Ewen Henderson - have had a profound effect on my own aesthetic, my visual outlook. They have done much to broaden my once narrow mind and break down my little prejudices. Sorting and placing these objects rekindled the excitement, the sense of revelation, I felt on first discovery, but here they are in the rich texture of domesticity, when first I saw such work in the spacious neutrality of the gallery.

This setting is not so unlike that fondly remembered sitting room of Ewen's, where new sculptures and vessels hid among open art books and tribal art, piled CDs and a sleeping cat, curled up in the evening darkness. Here, among the general accumulation of the years - the toys, textiles and intriguing bric-a-brac, brought back from family travels - the ceramics and pictures take on a renewed life and energy. That of co-existence, of stimulating and playful mixture. Here, the sense of connection, visual and spiritual, of risk and resolution, of the charting of new and unfamiliar territory, comes clearly through.

David Whiting
February 2005

Press release

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