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Star treatment for iconic vessels

Star treatment for iconic vessels John Parker Ceramics

12 October – 1 December 2002

Contemporary ceramics will be bathed in continually changing coloured theatre lights in a dramatic new display, part of the John Parker¾Ceramics exhibition opening next week at City Gallery Wellington. Fifty five new works created especially for this exhibition will be given the star treatment by Parker, who as well as being New Zealand’s foremost ceramicist, also maintains parallel careers in theatre set and costume design.

John Parker¾Ceramics is the first major exhibition of the artist’s work since 1990, and the first time his work has been presented in a public gallery on this scale. Surveying 35 years of his career, from 1970 to the present day, it features around 350 works.

“I like my own ceramics exhibitions to always contain surprises. They are always staged, with the pieces presented as much for the dramatic effect as for the objects themselves,” writes Parker in the book that accompanies the exhibition.

John Parker has been an innovator throughout his career and has continually pushed the boundaries of his chosen art form. At a time when mainstream New Zealand pottery was characterised by organic, stoneware-based work, Parker favoured austere beauty in the forms and surfaces of his ceramics, drawing inspiration from European design movements like de Stijl and the Bauhaus, and potters Lucie Rie and New Zealander Keith Murray. In 1996, he decided to work solely in white. His pristinely beautiful White Ware, which features strongly in this exhibition, has since become highly sought-after by collectors in New Zealand and internationally.

A self-confessed ‘Renaissance man’, John Parker’s recent theatrical credits include The Marriage of Figaro, On The Razzle, and The Rocky Horror Show. The exhibition is accompanied by a major publication, published by City Gallery Wellington in partnership with David Bateman Ltd. This is the first in-depth exploration of John Parker’s work, and features an illustrated ‘Technical Notebook’ in which Parker shares over 35 years of accumulated practical skill and expertise with the reader.

John Parker¾Ceramics coincides with the opening of Gerhard Richter Survey (12 October-1 December). This is a survey of exemplary works by Gerhard Richter, one of the most internationally acclaimed German artists working today.


John Parker with well-known Wellington writer and collector Jim Barr talk their way around John Parker¾Ceramics. Montana Wines Ltd is the Principal Sponsor of City Gallery Wellington’s public programme.

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