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Sunday, July 31, 2016


Scorched Earth: 100 Years of Southern African Potteries by Wendy Gers will be launched at the Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg on August 4.

Scorched Earth will be the first comprehensive history of fine art potteries in southern Africa with a focus on pioneer ceramic studios and workshops. This encyclopaedic revisionist history of an often overlooked sector of the South African art and design world explores the work of 30 potteries that produced high-quality ceramic wares from 1900 to 1980.

The book promises to be the definitive history of southern African ceramics, giving voice to many artists whose work is little-known in the wider art world. It contains over 300 photographs, a comprehensive list of studios, workshops and potters, makers’ marks, and a wide-ranging essay on the history of this art form in southern Africa.

Gers is a former curator at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and now lectures at l’Ecole Supérieure d’Art et de Design de Valenciennes in France. She curated the prestigious Taiwan Ceramics Biennale 2014. She is a research associate at the University of Johannesburg and an associate advisor at The Design Cradle, Cape Town. She has written museum catalogues and published articles in journals including Art South Africa, Ceramic Review, Image and Text, La revue de la céramique et du verre and African Arts.

Scorched Earth is published by Jacana in hardcover - ISBN: 978-1-4314-2126-