Year

1994

Degree Name

Doctor of Creative Arts

Department

Faculty of Creative Arts

Abstract

The past thirty years has seen a rapid democratisation of ceramic art education. In common with other forms of art training, ceramics has become readily accessible to a wide cross-section of the community. Not only are educational resources more plentiful but the accompanying material supplies, technical information and marketing infrastructures are considerably more sophisticated. Since the Industrial Revolution industrial practices have permeated every corner of the community psyche. We not only embrace the place of machinery but are increasingly reliant on mechanisation to make decisions for us. The consequence is the industrialisation of artistic expression and denial of the importance of spiritualism and its relationship to practice.

The interest in marketing has also opened opportunities for specialists to supply ready-made materials or equipment representing a loss of control in fundamental decision-making in ceramics practice. The sophistication in media technology has also had its part to play. Promotional opportunities for practising artists now make it possible to accelerate career development at levels unheard of twenty years ago. The emphasis on self-promotion, however, is not without its risks.

Despite the resource developments there is an undercurrent of concern amongst established artists and art collectors that the quality of artwork being produced and marketed is declining. The uncritical acceptance of industrial philosophic criteria is replacing important traditional methods and consensus on aesthetic altering the face of creative content. There are important lessons to be learned by appraising traditional attitudes in any artform. There are also many questions to be asked and resolved if the future of studio ceramics is to survive.

The purpose of this dissertation is to evaluate the relationship between industry, ceramics education, publishing and community values in the contemporary ceramics world. The value of tradition and belief is also examined to outline some of the spiritual relationships surrounding aesthetic. By constructing a comparative analysis a definition for future directions is attempted.

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