In this, my ninetieth plus year, over sixty of which I have been a potter, I remain concerned, if a little obsessed, with the challenge of making pots, which although belonging to a ceramic tradition of some eight thousand years or more, are undeniably and uniquely Australian. With all my changes of expression this has remained constant. The most lasting inspiration has come from the inland of Australia, more particularly from the Gammon and Flinders Ranges and from the Olary Uplands of South Australia, and more recently from the Pilbara and Kimberley areas of Western Australia, where dating of the rock engravings place them as being amongst the oldest marks left by human-kind anywhere in the world.
It is impossible to ignore the feeling that this country remains inhabited by the past. For me it is also impossible not to creatively respond through the somewhat vague process of inspiration and distillation. Whether one searches the horizons of these vast bare rugged lands or views the far vistas from the great mountains of the High Country the same spirit remains. To understand this spirit, even a little, is a privilege but to try an express it is a compelling endeavor.
Born Melbourne, Victoria. Initial training, Mervyn Feeney, Brisbane, 1950. Career highlights: 1965 Foundation Churchill Fellowship; 1974 Myer Foundation Geijutsu Fellow; 1975 established workshop and gallery, Adelaide Hills; 1984 Member of the Order of Australia; 1991 Retrospective, 35 Years, Art Gallery of South Australia; 1992 Advance Australia Foundation Award; 1993 Australian Government, Australian Artists Creative Fellowship; 2006 Honorary Doctorate, University of South Australia. Collections: over 27 National and International Galleries and Museums: Australia-Japan Foundation, Tokyo, Japan; Commonwealth Art Collection; Reserve Bank of Australia; Art Gallery of New South Wales; National Gallery of Victoria; Australian National Gallery, Canberra; private and corporate collections, Australia and overseas. Books published: The Living Road - A Meditation Sequence; The Zen Master, the Potter and the Poet; Zen and the taste of tea, by Kako; The Cloud Barrier, the meditating mind, by Kako; A Potter’s Pilgrimage; Wabi and the Chawan, an essay; featured in over 45 publications worldwide.