Johannesburg illustrator turned ceramicist, Belinda Leontsinis, has been selected as the June guest artist in the Potter of the Month exhibition series at the Association of Arts in Pretoria. The exhibition runs until June 30.
The Potter of the Month is a new initiative coinciding with the monthly Pretoria Art Meander, when the Association’s gallery is open from 10 am to 2 pm on the first Sunday of the month.
The Association is collaborating with Ceramics Southern Africa (Gauteng region, of which Belinda is a member) to promote up-and-coming ceramic artists.
This is the first solo ceramic exhibition by an artist renowned for her deep understanding of colour and her novel incorporation of found objects. The show includes plates, vessels, ladles and plaques mounted on glass and driftwood. Some surfaces are incised (sgraffito technique) and she incorporates both glazed and non-glazed finishes.
With a strong background in advertising illustration and graphic facilitation, for clients ranging from Sasol and KPMG to Procter and Gamble and MTN, Belinda has adopted the ceramics craft from the perspective of a draughtsman.
All surfaces are decorated and her work has evolved from hand-painted pinch pots to larger, experimental pieces that are both decorative and functional. She works in stoneware, earthenware and terracotta.
“I’ve always had an interest in ceramics, particularly the shapes of Zulu pots and the distinctive Mesoamerican cultural tradition that ended with the Spanish conquest,” says Belinda. “The work and philosophy of American dancer, potter and teacher Paulus Berensohn – and locally, Caroline Schulz Vieira and Drury Brandt – inspire me. The sea and ancient Greek imagery also influence my work.
“I’ve particularly enjoyed experimenting with flatware and approaching ceramics from the viewpoint of creating jewel-like art you can hang on a wall.”
With rural roots in the Eastern Cape, Belinda has a diploma in Visual Arts from Stellenbosch University, which she followed with an honours year in illustration.
She has taken part in several group exhibitions at the University of Johannesburg and the annual Hellenic Art Show in Johannesburg. Her work is to be found at Kim Sacks Gallery, Nonna and Objek in Johannesburg, Africa Nova and Montebello Design Centre in Cape Town, and Zulu-Lulu in the KZN Midlands. Pieces are held in numerous local private collections as well as in the United States and Greece.
Visit the exhibition at the Association of Arts, 173 Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria. Phone 012 346 3100, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to http://www.artsassociationpta.co.za for more information.