Although I have organised Plumstead Open Studios since 2016, this is the first year that the Harlequin Gallery has actually taken part. Traditionally held over the first weekend in September, this year sees over 47 artists exhibiting in 24 venues across Plumstead, London SE18.
Before the pandemic, the Harlequin Gallery held two or three exhibitions a year and so taking part in Plumstead Open Studios would have been a distraction. However, Plumstead Open Studios has grown and this year, with a team helping me to organise the event, it seemed the perfect time to hold an exhibition. The first open to visitors, since the autumn of 2019.
So what to show? I had decided that I ought to feature work by current working potters (see below), alongside collectable items from the past. Therefore, as William Marshall, Janet Leach and Shoji Hamada are personal favourites of mine, potters associated with the Leach Pottery had to be included. Associated with this will be several Japanese items by potters with Hamada/Leach connections.
Poh Chap Yeap
Since taking over the Harlequin Gallery in 1999, I imagine that I have sold more items by Poh Chap Yeap than any other gallery. This being down to Trevor Coldrey, the previous owner of the gallery, being one of the major collectors of Yeap’s work. Details about Yeap and his career can be found elsewhere on this site under the “Artists” section at Poh Chap Yeap. However, the work that I currently possess is the last from the Coldrey collection and it will be available over the Open Studio weekend.
Obviously, there will be other miscellaneous pots available, including many at reduced prices shown in the garden. However, the third and final name in the collectable selection had to be Alan Wallwork. Alan had always shunned solo exhibitions but, after much persuasion, was a regular exhibitor at the Harlequin Gallery towards the end of his career. This resulted in seven solo exhibitions in total and one or two other showings of older work in mixed shows. Most has long gone, never to return, but I have managed to acquire a few items to offer you in this exhibition, including the ones below.
Of the five artists that I have acquired new work from, only one, Jane Cairns, has exhibited at the Harlequin Gallery before. The others namely, Oliver Fenwick, Lisa Sjukur, Zara Taylor and Joshua Williams are probably all new to you. Below are examples of their work and a little information about each of them can be found in the “Artists” section of the website at Contemporary Ceramicists.
After the Plumstead Open Studios weekend items that remain will be added to the “Recent Acquisitions” page of the website.