Artist neighbours open joint exhibition


Two Earnscleugh neighbours share a love of art that is made in the moment.
Artists Judy Smith and Kathi McCleanboth enjoy creating art that flows with colour and movement.
Potter Kathi McClean creates ceramics using primitive firing techniques including pit firing and Western interpretations of traditional Japanese raku pottery.
The fun of raku and primitive firing was that it was not controlled.
One technique was taking clay that was red-hot —‘‘1000 degrees’’ — and placing it in a drum with newspapers.
‘‘You then let it go on fire and then put a lid on it.’’
This produced random and organic colours that were ‘‘very dramatic’’.
Another technique, called naked raku, involved hosing off the glaze after firing while the clay was still hot, giving a more natural effect — ‘‘you get all crackles’’ on the surface.
Being a potter was a challenge at times and she said occasionally she wished she was a painter instead — ‘‘because my hair gets singed and I get quite burnt’’.
But it was a joy as well, with each piece an unpredictable mix of elements.
Painter Judy Smith enjoys creating acrylic paintings that were loose and unconstrained.
Mrs Smith divides her time between Earnscleugh and Dunedin and is a neighbour of Mrs McClean.
Her work in this exhibition featured ‘‘snippets’’ from around Alexandra.
With a keen eye, Mrs Smith notices interesting details or scenes and amplifies them on the canvas.
‘‘Just little snaps, it could be a road corner, or a letterbox.’’
Works were generally completed in a single session — ‘‘in the moment’’.
‘‘Like Kathi, I never know what it is going to turn out like.’’
Her pallet used a lot of purples and oranges.
‘‘I just love those colours working together.’’
Her works had a free style — ‘‘I don’t like things all tight’’. ★ Judy Smith and Kathi McClean’s joint exhibition runs till May 1 at the Eade Gallery, 17a Holloway St, Clyde.

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