Castlemaine Art Gallery
stoneware with Shino glaze with window dip and iron brush decoration
Castlemaine Art Gallery & Historical Museum Collection
Photography by K. McKay
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Born in Ballarat, respected ceramicist Barry Singleton established a studio in Castlemaine's bushlands in 1970 where he continues to work today. Singleton frequently uses porcelain and stoneware in his work, evoking the calmness of Japanese pottery. In the mid 1970s Singleton journeyed to Japan where he studied under master potter Yasu Ogawaru.
Castlemaine Art Gallery's collection profiles ceramics from the start of studio practice through to present day professional ceramicists. It began in 1959 with the establishment of the Higgins Bequest through the estate of Sir John Higgins and his sister Catherine, and was at a time when very few regional art galleries were collecting this medium. Initially functional works with high aesthetic quality were chosen to complement the art collection and included works by Merric Boyd and other pioneering Australian ceramicists such as Harold Hughan, F.E. Cox and Klytie Pate.
Since the 1980s non-functional works have been acquired to represent continual changes in technique and style. The collection has grown to include works by Peter Laycock, Les Blakebrough and reflect the Japanese influence in Australia with works by Shigeo Shiga and Mitsuo Shoji. The gallery is proud to represent works by Central Victorian ceramicists like Singleton, as well as Anne Geroe and Phil Elson. Through the contributions of the Higgins Fund, there are now over 150 ceramic pieces in the collection.