Victor Greenaway. Victoria, Australia / Umbria, Italy.
On inspiration and living in Italy, Victor Greenaway says: “With constant access to the many major museums that offer up the most amazing inspirational works, it is possible to be surrounded by the most wondrous influences on a regular basis. Especially important for me are the Renaissance paintings by Raphael with his social references and warm, sometimes challenging, humanity and the stark confronting reality in the post-Renaissance works of Caravaggio. Together with the Michelangelo and Bernini marbles, classical sculptures and architecture: marble columns, stone, texture, layers of time, these all combine in a great mix of inspiration in both the paintings and the ceramics. This also combines with living amidst the art and myths that abound in the many, many churches and cathedrals that are part of our daily life.”
The new ceramic forms have been influenced greatly by the traditional shapes that emerged from the Etruscan society 2,500 years ago, especially in the larger, stemmed open bowls or “calice” and the decorative friezes that chase abstract shapes around the surfaces. But the surfaces too arise from the smooth surfaces of marble and classical forms that are everywhere.
In contrast, the Bucchero pieces are made from an Italian volcanic clay, mostly wheel-turned and polished, then smoke-fumed in a reduction atmosphere to permeate the black colour through the clay body which, when polished and fired, has the appearance of metalware. Bucchero is a distinctively Etruscan product that emerged around the 7th century BC in Southern Etruria (central Italy).
Regardless of the medium, as in a quick sketch or abstraction, the outcome relies on experience, intuition and a confidence in technique. Often the result is uncertain and the work lost or discarded but the journey is an exciting one and constantly rewarding.
- artist statement
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