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Meet the Studio One Toi Tū resident artist Jack Tilson

Published: 13 March 2018
Jack Tilson

Studio One Toi Tū’s sought-after studio residencies offer invaluable support for established and emerging artists based in Auckland.

The five recipients of the 2017/2018 Creative Studio Residency received ten months of studio space from November 2017 to August 2018, including 24-hour access to the Studio One Toi Tū precinct, to help achieve their project goals.

We chat to ceramic artist Jack Tilson, on how he’s found the residency so far and what’s in store for the residency exhibition that will be held August.

Tell us about the project you’re working on during your residency and where the inspiration came from?

At Studio One Toi Tū I am exploring naturally occurring clay and started a collaborative, digital map called Experiences of Clay - powered by Google ‘My Maps’. It can be edited by anyone and calls for first hand experiences of people using clay. My project is inspired by the beauty of the clay I have used and the people who have shown or taught me how to use it.

What attracted you to apply for the residency and how has it helped you to develop your artistic practice?

I find Studio One Toi Tū to be a very supportive and inspiring place with a community of highly skilled people working here. The pottery kilns and wheels make it an ideal space for me to develop and hone my ideas.

What draws you to working in ceramics?

For me, ceramics brings together art and life. It all begins outside, usually somewhere coastal with a slip or exposed clay cliff. I will always remember the experience of being next to the intense heat of a kiln for the first time.

How important is research in your creative process?

Research plays a big role in my work. Learning the long history of pottery is an ongoing pursuit and the technical challenges that you encounter when making ceramics, such as firing the kiln or preparing glaze recipes, require a lot of research. I have gone deep into the archives of libraries, journals and online resources - there are so many incredible resources out there.

We’re looking forward to checking out the creative outputs from your residency – what would you like people to take away from your works?

I hope that I might inspire people to treasure local clay as a precious resource.

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