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March 24, 2011 Clementina

I might have written about this in an earlier post – there is a new book out about one of South Africa’s top ceramists Hylton Nel : A Curious World compiled by Michael Stevenson.

Artist/potter Hylton Nel, who celebrates his 70th birthday in 2011, has developed a distinctive style of work, rich in references to the decorative arts, literature, art history and South African life. His plates, bowls, vases and figurative pieces are idiosyncratically decorated with witty and poignant line drawings and script. His imagery ranges from penises to cats and angels, and his quotes are drawn from poetry and the daily press as well as his observations of the world. This richly illustrated book brings together images of his recent work with extracts from his journals as a young man and photographs of his home and garden on the outskirts of Calitzdorp in the Klein Karoo.

The text of the book is in the form of letters to poet and friend Mavis Orpen, as well as journal entries all of which are poetic and inspiring and form a remarkable complement to the visual images. Browsing through this book is a welcome relief from all the dramas of the current world and a reminder that life can be gentle and exquisite…

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