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Richard Stratton: Après les Baleines

Past Exhibition
12 Feb – 01 May 2011
Free

Richard Stratton, Après les Baleines, 2011. Photo: John Lake

Richard Stratton, Après les Baleines, 2011. Photo: John Lake

Richard Stratton, Après les Baleines, 2011. Photo: John Lake

Richard Stratton, Après les Baleines, 2011. Photo: John Lake

Richard Stratton, Après les Baleines, 2011. Photo: John Lake

Richard Stratton, Après les Baleines, 2011. Photo: John Lake

Wellington ceramicist Richard Stratton has transported himself back in time, creating ornate and luxuriously glazed new works as if he were his ancestor, Francois Narbey, a 19th century whaler who lived in Akaroa. Imagining his ancestor was equally skilled in the ceramic trade as he was in the techniques of early whaling, Stratton creates a life for him "after the whales". The pieces he has created are in the style of English and European ornamental ware but with a contemporary twist.

Using the knowledge he has uncovered from period texts and technical manuscripts (from 1897–1914) of the European ceramics that arrived with the settlers, these new works emulate European design trends and fashions of the colonial period while reflecting on the condition of making in an entirely different cultural setting—where industrial technology was, at best, rudimentary. 

The source material and inspiration for the ceramic ware comes from a variety of European ceramic producers and periods of production like: Faience wares of Rouen, Moustiers & Marseilles, French porcelain wares from Sevres, Vincennes, St Cloud, and Rouen; and English earthenware and porcelain from Worcester, Mason and Minton.

Richard Stratton lives in Karori, Wellington. He graduated from the Otago Polytechnic in 1993 and has exhibited widely in New Zealand over the past ten years. Richard has won several awards and his works are held in many public and private collections. Richard is the winner of the third Deane Award for Decorative Arts, 2009.