Celebrated potter influenced many Mountains artists

Acclaimed potter: Peter Rushforth's work will feature at the Cultural Centre exhibition.

Acclaimed potter: Peter Rushforth's work will feature at the Cultural Centre exhibition.

Behind the work of the potter is a search for truth and beauty, through form, glaze and function, and in rare cases, the work of the individual potter may express spiritual value.

When successful, such human qualities can bring warmth to the coldness of our high tech environment.

So said acclaimed potter, the late Peter Rushforth, in the S. H. Ervin Gallery e-catalogue, Peter Rushforth: All Fired Up (2013).

Peter Rushforth: A Legacy is a celebration of the artist’s career, spanning more than six decades, and the significant influence he had on generations of artists, many of whom currently reside in or near the Greater Blue Mountains.

Peter Rushforth (1920–2015) was one of Australia’s most revered potters.

His passion and commitment to his practice are reflected in a deep understanding of his materials and environment. 

He aimed to “create forms that have life and vitality, colours and textures that are unique to earth materials”.

Rushforth wasn’t interested in imposing irrelevant decoration onto his forms, instead he wanted to integrate the form with the colours and glazes so they sat in harmony.

Peter Rushforth: A Legacy is on exhibition at Blue Mountains City Art Gallery from December 1–January 20.

Also on display will be over 120 works from 28 artists who were all connected to Rushforth. This exhibition acknowledges just a few of the countless studio potters and artists who were touched by the integrity and dignity of the man and his work, many of whom, like Peter Rushforth, call the Blue Mountains home.

Exhibiting artists are: Les Blakebrough, Mollie Douglas, Ivan Englund, Patricia Englund, Merran Esson, Marea Gazzard, Malcolm Greenwood, Clara Hali, Steve Harrison, Jan Irvine-Nealie, Janine King, Col Levy, Janet Mansfield, Ivan McMeekin, Susie McMeekin, Chester Nealie, Simon Reece, Peter Rushforth, Susan Rushforth, Bernard Sahm, Bill Samuels, Shiga Shigeo, Ian Smith, Thanakupi, Peter Travis, Maureen Williams-Levy, Peter Wilson and Roswitha Wulff.

This is a Blue Mountains City Art Gallery exhibition curated by Rilka Oakley.