Considered one of South Africa’s foremost living ceramicists, Ian Garrett’s masterful work has grown out of a life-long fascination with the primordial ceramic technology of hand-building, burnishing and pit-firing. Informed by an expert knowledge of archaic traditions, Garrett’s nuanced, hybrid vessels appear both timeless and strikingly contemporary.
Original forms and highly refined, intricate surfaces characterise Garrett’s oeuvre, with glossy burnished areas contrasted against elaborate swathes of matt-textured linear motifs. Suggesting finger-prints, cartographic contours or magnetic force-fields, these lines appear to make visible hidden energies within the clay fabric.
The work on exhibition follows Garrett’s award of a prestigious Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in 2016. New colours are introduced, along with an increasingly sophisticated exploration of symmetry and pattern composition.