Cfilers can dialogue and learn with each other. Starting today, artist John Parker will be taking questions about his recent book in our new C-Forum, a meeting hall for the global contemporary ceramic art community. If you are already a cfile.member, view the forum, or begin your 30-day free trial of cfile.campus!
John Parker: Cause and Effect
Clark, Garth; Clifford, Andrew; Jenkins, Douglas Lloyd
Waiatarua, New Zealand: Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, 2016
2016 marks 50 years since celebrated West Auckland artist John Parker started making pottery. To mark the occasion, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in Titirangi presented a major exhibition and launched a new book, both titled John Parker: , to survey his extraordinary 50-year career of breaking rules and redefining what it means to make pottery in Aotearoa.
Parker is one of New Zealand’s most consistently innovative potters, always seeking fresh ways to push the boundaries of clay production. He takes inspiration from art-house cinema, Wagner, Beatles albums, commercial potteries such as Crown Lynn and Wedgwood, and even the manufacture of power pole insulators. Cause and Effect explores the different ideas and experiences that continue to influence Parker’s work, often recurring in cyclical fashion over periods of time to lead him in surprising new directions. This includes exploring the relationship between the otherwise estranged worlds of handmade craft and machine production, experimentation with fiction and narrative themes, but always through a love affair with surface and materiality – he enjoys treating his finishes as a kind of clothing that can reveal or conceal the sensuous, highly worked forms beneath.
Cause and Effect features an ambitious new work,Clear and Present Danger, an installation made especially for the exhibition and featured in the book. Produced in collaboration with lighting designer, Phillip Dexter, it features 200 white grooved cones made from porcelain.
The book is an impressive volume, with contributors from around the world, including internationally renowned writer, Garth Clark, who studied with Parker at the Royal College of Arts in London in 1974 and 1975. It is lavishly illustrated with newly commissioned photographs by Haruhiko Sameshima, design by Derek Ward and with further essays by Jim Barr and Mary Barr, Andrew Clifford, Grace Cochrane and Douglas Lloyd Jenkins.
John Parker is one of New Zealand’s leading studio potters. He was born in Auckland in 1947 and began working in clay in 1966. After graduating from Auckland Teachers’ College, he went to London in 1973 to study at the Royal College of Art. He was awarded an MA degree in Ceramics in 1975 and returned to New Zealand in 1977 where he continued his significant involvement with the ceramics community as director of the Auckland Studio Potters Centre. John has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and internationally.
A major retrospective exhibition John Parker Ceramics was presented by City Gallery Wellington in 2002 accompanied by a significant publication.
His work is represented in many private and institutional collections including Auckland Institute and Museum, Dowse Art Museum, FuLe International Ceramic Art Museums, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney, Northern Arizona University, Pennsylvania State University, Te Papa and Waikato Museum of Art and History Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.
John is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics (Geneva) and was made a Life Member of Auckland Studio Potters in 1999. He has participated in ceramics gatherings in Icheon, Paris, Dublin, Santa Fe, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. Alongside his work in ceramics. Parker is also well known as an award-winning theatre and exhibition designer with strong interests in opera and film, all of which influences his pottery.
Among the many honors he has received, John was made a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate in 2010.
John lives and works in the hills of Waiatarua in West Auckland.
(Text from Cause and Effect press release)