Hands engineered to mould masterpieces – Hunter retains the premier potter title
John Hunter, was once again crowned the winner of the Premier Award in the 2019 Bank Windhoek Potters Association of Namibia (PAN) National Ceramics Biennale, after winning the same award in 2017.
He retained the title at the awards ceremony hosted at the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN), last week in Windhoek.
Hunter also won two other prizes: first prize in the Handwork and second prize in the Wheelwork Category.
Working with clay is a way of life for Hunter who has been practicing the art since the age of 18. He has been potting for the past 50 years and has resided in Windhoek for the past 22 years, where he heads Community Hope School in Katutura. “Pottery is a source of income for the Community Hope School,” said Hunter after he received his award.
“Thank you to Bank Windhoek for all the efforts made into sponsoring the Arts. It has made a big difference to the artists to have a sponsor like the bank. Without the sponsorship, we will not have a platform such as this one to showcase our arts,” he added.
Jacqui Jansen van Vuuren won the first and third prizes in the Wheelwork Category. Mariki Grobler came second in the Handwork Category with Lucia Tjituka in third.
Rosa Julia Smit won the Sculptural Category with Mitchell Gatsi coming in second place followed by Annabelle Venter in third.
Wakunvambo Sinvula won the Rural Pottery Category followed by Elinah Bainga and Grace Sintepe in second and third place respectively.
Sylvester Tjinotjiua walked away as the Most Promising Beginner, while Rosi Stevenson won the New Signature Award.
PAN started the initiative 17 years ago with the aim of providing a platform for local potters. The main purpose of the Biennale is to encourage potters to develop and produce unique pieces of pottery. With 281 individual pieces entered by 44 potters, only 200 made the final cut. Each entry was scrutinised for craftsmanship, originality, detail and balance.
All of the prize-winning participants’ artworks are currently on display at the NAGN. The participants said they were proud to be part of the 2019 Bank Windhoek Potters’ Association of Namibia’s National Ceramics Biennale. The initiative provided them with an opportunity to express their expertise, storytelling and imagination through the medium of pottery and ceramics. The quality and creativity of the artwork gave the judges, Elize van Huyssteen and South African, Clementina van Der Walt, a challenging task in selecting the best artwork.
“In selecting works for this show, I was aware that many of the makers are not fulltime potters, and others are beginners. In the light of this, I have been impressed with the standard achieved and the general high quality of submissions,” said Van der Walt.
The National Ceramics Biennale Exhibition is currently open to the public at the Main Gallery of the NAGN. It ends on Friday, 20 September 2019. All artwork on display is for sale.
Caption: Master potter: The 2019 Bank Windhoek PAN National Ceramics Biennale premier potter, John Hunter, pictured with one of his winning pieces.