Ceramics in the Village – The work of Peter McEwan

I wasn’t going to address this current situation if I’m honest, but there’s no point putting up a post and ignoring the fact of the matter that we’re all in this at the moment. The world right now more than ever is a global community of shared values and agreement and in a way it’s down to people who create to keep everyone moving forward through this. Whether you’re a filmmaker or musician; you record podcasts, or if you’re an artist, a writer or a photographer, it’s kind of up to us as a creative community within the larger scheme of things to do our bit and keep everyone sane in a way. To give everyone something to read, something to look at or listen to so that being cooped up at home isn’t so boring and lacking in entertainment. If you’ve been thinking about starting on one or any of these things, I encourage you, now is you’re perfect time to begin creating, to begin sharing your work, to not only pass the time for yourself and keep your mind active but what you do could help fill 5 minutes, 25 minutes, or an hour in someone’s day, and if not encourage them to create something, at the very least, you entertained them and entertainment is what we all need right now. Aside from entertainment, we also need to find a way to support our local community and support those who support us. It’s probably not a time that a lot of people are buying things but if you need to buy things, essential things, instead of nipping out to Woolworths or Coles for coffee, or supplies, look to your local café’s and delicatessen’s, green grocers, local farm shops and wineries, etc. you might have to pay $5 extra here and there but that is definitely a small price to pay in order to support your local community and to help keep small business’ alive. In the words of coffee critic James Hoffmann “…Starbucks will be fine”.

Nestled amongst the hills, just off the highway heading towards the heart of South Gippsland is Loch Village, established in the 1870’s and supplied by the nearby South Gippsland railway. The village grew and unlike many other surrounding small villages which fell to their demise after the railway was discontinued, Loch continued to evolve and today is a beautiful little community of art, craft and café’s. The main street is lined with Victorian weatherboard shops and houses, as well as the beautiful and slightly imposing red brick ‘Loch Manor’ now Loch Brewery standing at one end, but down the other end of the main street, in an unassuming, small reddish-brown weatherboard building is Peter McEwan Ceramics. Stepping through the door, the front room is a small gallery, the stark white walls and whitewashed stone floor making the room appear somewhat larger and providing a neutral backdrop for Peter’s work. On one wall hang mugs and keep cups of various earthy tones, a small bench and shelf unit on another wall display vividly coloured plates, bowls and more mugs, whilst various ‘stands’ utilizing mould casings help to display larger ornamental jugs and pots. Peter begun ceramics in the 1970’s, before moving away from it, but he recently made a return to pottery, his designs are unique and ultimately what drew me to his work. The dull earthy browns, beige’, and greens are broken up by splashes of bright blues, pinks, and lighter greens, some pieces beautifully finished with overlapping and seemingly effortless waves of colour, forming almost landscape like scenes, other pieces are more defined and to the point. Sharp straight edges clearly defining their space on the ceramics in bold triangular form. It’s the way the colour interacts that moreso stood out for me, the bright colours featured on each piece feeling somewhat soft even though they clearly stand out from the neutral tones they interact with. Other pieces in the room appear lighter, more delicate, less perfectly finished, with rougher edges and there’s something so beautifully natural about them, both in their finished textures and the more organic colouring of them, such as the larger vessels stood upon the moulds, which stand out to me almost like pieces of medieval earthenware, and I personally love the variation in his work. Peter’s shop is only a small space, but for a small space, it has the feel of a large gallery in the sense of how diverse his skill is, you could easily take your time to study each piece before moving onto the next, not even knowing if its the same artist, and that I feel is the true mark of a skilled ceramicist.

Peter does have an online shop and you can see more of his work on his Instagram @petermcewanceramics

I also would like to note that this isn’t a paid article, I just wanted to do what I could in order to support a local artist. I also plan to do more of these types of articles in the future. @highstyle.wip

Enjoy

thanks for looking

Matt.

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