When I was a child, I had a certain connection with certain toys particularly some dolls. I felt a bond, as if they were not inanimate objects. I once found a R1 note and a quill feather in our garden shed, those two objects filled me with a sense of utter dread and I asked my parents to dispose of them. Things which do not grow, reproduce or fall into the category of living things should not ive a feeling of almost being alive, or maybe they should?
Bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this. A visit to Ardmore ceramics, in the Natal Midlands, brought back that childhood feeling. What I saw there was not just art which sent covet mode into overdrive. The pieces seem almost alive. I’m not talking about beauty or perfection, this is something else.
Of course with two small people in the house and no armour plated cabinet it would invite heartbreak to own an Ardmore artwork, just as well since the price tags do not fit our budget restrictions.
We were told that the sculptor and painter do not communicate about what they are working on together. When the painter receives a piece to work on he/she interprets it with a fresh eye. There are a team of artists drawn from the local community, each with unique skill and gifting yet all the works on display seem crafted by one hand. There must be a great harmony of spirit among those who work at Ardmore.
Word of Ardmore has spread worldwide and Christie’s of London describe their artwork as “modern day collectibles”. In this world which champions mediocrity and mass production it is a privilege to step into the Ardmore Gallery and delight in creations which are beautiful and exude with something which feels a lot like life.