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Creative clay project helps community stick together

By Patrick Nelson

Some of the 10,000 pinch pots for the TOUCH exhibition Some of the 10,000 pinch pots for the TOUCH exhibition

Two Charles Darwin University art lecturers have combined their creative talents to curate a unique ceramics exhibition that will open in Alice Springs this week.

Visual arts lecturer Suzi Lyon and ceramics lecturer Mel Robson this week will put the finishing touches on “Touch”, a spectacular floor installation comprising about 10,000 clay pinch pots, some of which are as small as a finger nail.

Ms Lyon said more than 50 people had helped make the pots in an exercise that allowed for an exploration of the link between artist and audience, and maker and viewer.

“Artists often work in isolation, but in this case we chose a medium to connect with other people,” Ms Lyon said.

“Students, staff and others at the campus made some of the pots in the garden during their lunch breaks.

“We were delighted to see them connect, converse, contribute and create all at the same time.”

Ms Lyon said the “community engagement” aspect of the project would continue during the exhibition’s season at the Watch This Space Gallery, from 10 October to 1 November.

“The gallery will be set up so people can keep adding to the collection,” she said.

“The tactile nature of clay and its ability to be easily manipulated makes it a democratic material to shift the focus on to the process of making as a means of discovery, expression and interactive engagement.”