Alan Watt: Vertical Shaft
Alan Watt was born in Melbourne in 1941 and studied ceramics gaining a Diploma from RMIT in 1965. From 1965-78, he lectured in ceramics at various campuses of the State College of Victoria, taking time out to obtain a Fellowship Diploma of Art from RMIT in 1974. From 1979-1998, he was Head of the Ceramics Workshop at ANU's National Institute of the Arts in Canberra, and then continued there as a Visiting Fellow. Since the late 1970s, he has been based in Tanja on the far south coast of NSW. Some of his early work is functional with surfaces enriched by decoration but he is best known as a sculptor using the ceramic medium, often in association with metal and plastics, to explore how mankind scores, cuts, alters and orders the landscape. In recent years he has been working mainly in metal. He has an impressive history of exhibitions, residencies, visiting fellowships and awards and his work is widely represented in Australian and international collections.
The Work of Art
Shaft is a small ceramic work of art created by a black fired earthenware technique. The gold shaft is created using gold leaf. The work was created in 1995 and was originally exhibited as as part of the 'Geomorphic' exhibition at the Narek Galleries. Partly abstract, the work imitates the nature of geological environment. It can also be seen as a statement on Australian mining activities of the 19th Century and the gold rushes that took place across Victoria and New South Wales.
Biographical note on Alan Watt in the University of Canberra Art Collection