An exhibition of works by a major ceramic artist, Len Castle, opened at the Fisher Gallery, Pakuranga on Sunday 2 May and will continue until 29 May.
The pots, bowls, dishes, cases and hanging forms range from castle's earliest work in the 1950s to his most recently completed pieces.
Len Castle is a major New Zealand potter with an international reputation. In 1986 he was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday honours for his contribution to the studio-pottery movement in New Zealand and as a potter.
One of the founding members of the New Zealand Studio Pottery movement, he has been potting in Auckland since 1947. He has received a scholarship and a fellowship to study in Japan and England.
One of the most renowned and respected of New Zealand potters, Len Castle’s work shows a concern for the flow of form and textural beauty. The subtleties of the behaviour of clay, fire and molten glaze materials fascinate him and he works with them as partners in his aim to produce pots with a timeless beauty.
He makes his pots to satisfy his psychological needs, to express feelings and attitudes, to understand the nature of vital forms and for the elation that goes with discovering the unknown. His main stimulus he says ‘comes from other pots. They suggest ‘form’ themes to be explored and developed in my personal style; ideas that are relevant to my stage of understanding.’
He lives and works among the bush clad hills of Titirangi, Auckland; an area that provides the stimulus for his work. There is as he remarked ‘no conscious desire to emulate the forms of nature; no looking for sermons in stones, no pots in pungas. It’s possible that from below the level of consciousness something wells up and guides me towards objects that hint at the world of living things.’