Symbols and Sentiment
Ceramics and works on paper by Strahan Clarke
Strahan Clarke has exhibited a collection of fine ceramic works at Hangar Gallery for a number of years but this is his first solo exhibition in the gallery. He will be showing a series of intricately patterned works on paper and a range of beautiful ceramics. Strahan studied at Hungry Creek art and craft school graduating with an Advanced Diploma Majoring in Painting and Ceramics. After graduating he became a fulltime tutor/technician at Hungary Creek. Currently he works at The Clay Centre in Ellerslie teaching pottery classes & working as a kiln technician.
Working primarily with stoneware clays and porcelain Strahan is a gifted wheel potter with a natural talent for throwing fine vessels. His amorphic forms resonate with the feminine they are shapely and elegant. He also makes fine domestic pieces and created the table ware for Rothko restaurant @ Sculptureum in Matakana. For the exhibition at Hangar Gallery he has crafted a display unit from recycled timber which will hold 100 unique stemless goblets.
He decorates his work with an accomplished yet subtle glaze technique using Japanese & American type shinos often in earthy tones. He also uses celadon glazes that range in colour from pale grey, to greens, and blues, adding ash to bring out red tones. Strahan’s focus, an alchemy of clay and heat delivers distinctive pieces finished with delft touches.
Some pieces feature geometric symbology and echo the Japanese notion of ‘wabi-sabi,’ the beauty of imperfection. His works on paper are an extension of the clay work, the interlinking fractal designs that feature on selected ceramic pieces are rendered in two-dimensional form with technical precision and nuanced colour.
Strahan describes his work saying, “my practice consists of collecting self-reflective moments, sometimes in a delicate single line, spontaneous mark or a contemplative pattern. Repetition & rituals underlay the ways in which I make.”