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Contemplations in the natural landscape: Unearthing the surface in the ceramic vessels of Anda Dodo.

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This Practice-Based Masters research project comprises this written dissertation together with the creative studio practice of Anda Dodo. The focus of this qualitative research is nonutilitarian nature-inspired ceramic vessels. The theoretical framework of PBR and heuristic inquiry, which positions Dodo at the centre of her research and foreground her insights as a research practitioner, are used together with interrelated theories. An Art Historical approach is used in a survey of selected 20th C British studio potters which highlights influential potters and the shifts in emphasis in vessel making from utilitarian ‘pottery’ to ‘ceramics’. American studio potters Peter Voulkos, Wayne Higby, Paul Soldner and British potter Ewen Henderson are specifically discussed as to their philosophies and alternative approach to vessel making and non-utilitarian vessels have directly influenced the candidate’s studio practice. Metaphor in art is examined and universal and personal metaphors are used to embed meaning in the ceramic vessels. A discussion of materiality theory is also included to reflect on the chosen materials and studio practice. A chapter is devoted to technical aspects of ceramics about materials, techniques and experiments conducted. Discussion about how these informed decisions made about both expressive and technical aspects of vessel making and surface treatment is included. The reflective-reflexive chapter demonstrates how the candidate’s practical work and theory unfolded. A reflexive approach is used to discuss the studio practice which is underpinned by keys themes relating to the vessel, metaphor, landscape and memory. Journals are referred to, which together with personal reflection, explain insights into ongoing studio practice as well as the presentation of completed works. This includes the use of metaphor and vessels as carriers of meaning. The discussion of the exhibition deals with important aspects of display and use of gallery space.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.