Celebrated charity Wac Arts chooses Gabrielle Guz as their artist-in-residence with an exhibition of distinctive pottery and life drawings at the Old Town Hall, Hampstead.
Wac Arts, a charity whose alumni include Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Sophie Okenedo, Courtney Pine and Ms Dynamite, has chosen Gabrielle Guz to be their new artist-in-residence. The residency launches with “BARE”: an exhibition of her unique pots and life drawings at the Old Town Hall in Hampstead, starting with a Private View on September 10th and continuing until early November. A percentage of the proceeds from the exhibition will go to Wac Arts to help fund their empowering programmes for young children.
Gaby favours a style of pottery called “naked raku” which is highly unusual. After the pot is thrown and turned, up to eight layers of very fine liquid clay (“terra sigillata”) are applied to the surface of the pot and burnished in turn. The pot is then fired in a kiln for the first time. A layer of “resist slip“ is then applied to the pot and the pot is given a raku glaze.
A second firing is then carried out and when the kiln temperature reaches around 1000 degrees the kiln door is opened and the pot taken out with tongs. It is then placed in a metal bin and covered with sawdust .The sawdust penetrates the glaze where it crazes and this creates the random black markings that characterise a raku firing. After cooling the glaze is removed leaving the pot “naked”.
Gaby says “As many pots fail as succeed, but for each firing there is a renewed sense of anticipation and excitement.”
Gaby says of her life drawings: ”My principal aims are to portray the light, tonal differences and movement of a pose. Consequently, I favour shorter poses in which the model can hold more difficult and dynamic positions and where the time to capture the essence of the pose is deliberately limited. This creates pressure but I enjoy the challenge of not having time to think, but just to ‘feel’ and express what is in front of me.”
Hayley Butler, Artist in Residence Manager at Wac Arts said “ We are delighted to have Gabrielle as our artist-in-residence supporting our vital work with young people, with this exciting and unusual exhibition. The combination of her dramatic raku pottery and her distinctive drawings of models in often dramatic poses, is sure to interest a wide variety of North London art lovers.”
Notes on Gabrielle Guz and Wac Arts below but please also see artist’s website www.gabyguzart.com and Wac Art web pages www.WacArts.co.uk/BARE
About Gabrielle Guz
· Gaby was introduced to making pots as a teenager at school in London, and to life drawing at The Ruskin School of Art when a student at St John’s College Oxford.
· Trained in ceramics at Camden Arts Centre and then at Harrow School of Art in the early 1990’s. She was particularly inspired by the pottery of Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, and her passion was throwing at the wheel.
· Gaby made pots in Kentish Town for 15 years, specialising in raku
· Has attended life-drawing classes at Hampstead School of Art for 6 years.
· Has been inspired by some wonderful teachers including potters Mo Abdalla and Kenny Mecnzer, and painters Trudie Stephenson, Caroline Deane and Desmond Healey.
· Lives in Hampstead with her husband, three children and her adorable dog, Poppy, who aspires to being a life drawing model herself but has so far been neglected in favour of human subjects!