Oliver Morse

Oliver Morse comes back to his hometown of Taranaki, to celebrate an impressive string of successes in ceramics with his debut solo exhibition “Procession of Pariah’s”, 11th May - 4th June, held at Kina Gallery, Devon St West.

Oliver has won four awards in his short ceramic career including, The Inaugural Emerging Practitioner in Clay Award presented by the Rick Rudd Foundation, which included a prize of $10,000 and was announced by our Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage (video can be seen on YouTube). He has also twice been a finalist in the Parkin Drawing prize since his first entry in 2017.

“Oliver brings his experience of painting and the theatre to his ceramics. He is someone who has been working with clay for less than two years, yet demonstrates the potential to become a force in the medium in the future. This epitomizes the reason for the Award being established.” - judges comments, 2018

It is fitting that Oliver returns to his place of birth to hold his debut solo show as the works delve into an exploration of family history through the use of old photographs and other memorabilia. Most interested in the characters that emerge from these images, he states that “these works not only explore my own place in the family hierarchy but also the “strangers” or the relatives I never met, either because they passed before I was born or simply separated by another town. “It starts a conversation within my family when they recognise a character depicted on a vase, and this is what fascinates me most. A forgotten, static photograph can come alive by the recollections of old stories, one-sided “truths”, sadness or laughter.”

A Procession of Pariah’s is a continuation of Oliver’s autobiographical style using lively drawings, loosely executed on primitive forms, through sgraffito, a technique of scratching or carving into the clay with tools when the surface is leatherhard (before firing). The clay object is fired, then, coloured glazes are applied to reveal the scores of line work, much like a printmaker wiping back ink to reveal their images.

In addition to the clay works are two ceramic lamps, complete with hand-stitched lampshades which continue the narrative of decoration and domesticity within the family home.

Olivers works are held in public and private collections throughout New Zealand and abroad.

The gallery will host an opening reception on Friday 10th May from 5-7 PM.