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Gallery showcases important Queensland potters
Phillip McConnell (Australia b. 1947), Dish c.1982. Ceramic. Porcelain, wheelthrown and carved with five circular floral motifs beneath clear glaze, 3.5 x 16.5cm. Gift of Phillip and Barbara McConnell in memory of Dr Carl McConnell, OAM, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2006. Collection: Queensland Art Gallery.

BRISBANE.- A joint exhibition of Queensland father and son potters Carl and Phillip McConnell is being shown at the Queensland Art Gallery through June 24, 2012.

QAG Director Tony Ellwood said ‘Carl and Phillip McConnell: Queensland Studio Potters’ recognised the important place the two potters hold in the history of pottery in Australia.

‘Carl McConnell (1926 – 2003) was the most important potter of the post-World War Two generation in Queensland, and is credited with introducing stoneware and porcelain to the state,’ he said.

‘Phillip McConnell (b.1947), Carl’s eldest son, followed in his father’s footsteps, establishing an equally significant career.

‘Carl’s technical innovations in pottery glazing, such as his completely unique ‘Pinjarra plum’ (reduced iron) glaze, placed him in the company of other leading Australian potters of the time including Les Blakebrough, Col Levy and Ivan McMeekin.

‘This exhibition is presented as part of the Gallery’s Xstrata Coal Queensland Artists’ Gallery program. This ongoing partnership with Xstrata Coal enables us to tell the stories of many important Queensland artists.

‘Curated by Glenn Cooke, Research Curator Queensland Heritage, QAG, this exhibition presents 60 studio ceramics including vessels, bowls, vases and objects, spanning the extensive careers of both artists.

‘Carl and Phillip McConnell are regarded as superb ceramic technicians - both experimented with traditional Chinese and Japanese ceramic methods.’

Mr Ellwood said the exhibition drew on the Gallery’s extensive collection of McConnell pottery, much of which was bequeathed or gifted from Carl McConnell following the exhibition ‘Carl McConnell: Master Potter’ in 1986 at the Queensland Art Gallery.

‘Phillip McConnell also gave work generously in 2006 in honour of his father who died in 2003,’ he said.

Key works included in the exhibition are Carl McConnell’s Celadon bowl (1980) which the artist considered to be one of his major works; a large Carl McConnell vase with ‘Pinjarra plum’ glaze (1980) and Phillip McConnell’s blossom jar (1981) featuring Japanese gold-inlay effects.

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