And a Fascination with Eastern Ceramics
Hailing from Ballarat and represented in major art gallery collections including Bendigo, Castlemaine, Gippsland and Shepparton, Barry Singleton is also represented in the Whitehorse Art Collection and in private collections here and overseas.
Singleton, born in 1938, gained a Diploma in Sculpture (1959) at RMIT. He taught art at colleges in Warrnambool and later in Castlemaine, where he held his first solo exhibition at the Castlemaine Regional Art Gallery in 1970. That same year he established his studio in the country centre of Castlemaine, which continues to attract many artists to live and to work there.
During 1976, Singleton studied with master potter Yasu Ogawara at the Hashima Kiln in Kurashiki. His fascination with eastern ceramics did not diminish and he continued to make several return trips to Japan and China, to study and to lecture.
The Whitehorse Art Collection holds several works by this important Victorian ceramicist. Two of the works were originally part of the Victorian Ceramics Group Collection (one being part of the Myer Bicentennial Collection), which was donated to the City of Whitehorse following cessation in 2014. See the beguiling Jar above.
Of his work, Singleton writes that he is concerned with ‘simple form and quiet beauty’. He also meticulously prepares his own clay. The forms of the stoneware cocoon pots, below, are derived from natural forms. They are thrown and turned and paddled and pressed into shape and then abraded. The surface is then washed with various pigments to enhance the surface which is covered with a white slip coating.
With a palpable oriental aesthetic, Singleton is well-respected as one of Victoria’s most influential ceramicists. A retrospective survey of his work was held at the Castlemaine Art Museum in 2013. Whitehorse acquired the two small cocoon works from the artist last year, when he exhibited at Whitehorse Artspace.
Left Barry Singleton Cocoon Pot 1, 2019 and Cocoon Pot 4, 2019, acquired 2019