Crown Lynn Swans and Family Connections

Crown Lynn pottery has acquired an iconic status in New Zealand, and most Kiwi families have a piece somewhere among the treasured family heirlooms.  During the restrictions imposed because of WWII only utilitarian items could be produced, so Crown Lynn combined beautiful ornaments with practicality and called them vases.  Many of these are now highly collectable.

My parents both worked at Crown Lynn for a time in the early 1950s, and when they married they received many gifts of Crown Lynn pottery.  These became loved items for me as a child.  I am exploring symbols of tradition and memory in my paintings, and to me Swans are symbolic of a long loving relationship, and my own collection of Crown Lynn is a very tangible connection with my heritage, family connections, traditions and memories.

I’m producing a series of explorations of the forms, some abstracted, some representational, suggesting distance in time and memory.  These works are 200mm Tondo, Charcoal on Hahnemuhle Paper, marouflaged on board – part of the Group Show: Works on Paper at Railway Street Studios for the next couple of weeks.

Works on Paper

Next week we open a new exhibition at Railway Street:  Works on Paper!  I’m looking forward to seeing what the other artists come up with, but in the mean time, here’s one of my works:

Fabric Study: Willow and Compressed Charcoal on Leonardo 600g paper

Doing works on paper can be frustrating for me when I’m used to using oils on canvas, (and my watercolors have long-since dried in their tubes) , but I love the raw immediacy of charcoal… and it’s a great way to get to know the subject before working up a larger painting.