Last Chance: Art In The Forest Exhibition

WORDS Debbie Loots

When three celebrated ceramic artists put together a special exhibition, Collect and Connect in Constantia’s Art in the Forest, even the hares came out to play.

She may live in the far-away Karoo dorp of Nieu-Bethesda, but Charmaine Haines’s world-renowned ceramics often sell faster than hot cakes, and her husband Martin’s quirky clay hares have the habit of hopping straight out of the studio door while he’s fixing the last whisker.

Then there’s their friend and fellow ceramicist Anthony Shapiro, who hardly has time to throw his famously beautiful bowls because he’s too busy running the Art in the Forest Centre in Constantia’s Cecilia Forest: a social business enterprise presenting pottery classes and exhibitions, as well as producing its own range.

So, how to inspire these ceramic luminaries to make more work? Well, with Antony’s 50th birthday looming, he thought why not organise a big celebratory exhibition at the Art in the Forest gallery?

And that’s exactly what he did. He got Charmaine and Martin on board, and soon everybody started working towards a special show he called Collect and Connect.

Charmaine made more of her famous figurative vessels, sculptural works and plates, embellished with some of her signature designs: fish, birds and portraits.

Martin crafted more of his strangely charming rustic hares, decorating them with a combination of 17th-century motifs and contemporary designs.

In the meantime, Anthony put on his Zen hat and threw together the most beautiful bowls, and the Art in the Forest team of artists helped to produce a new ceramics range that they called the Forestware collection.

Their beautiful works are on show right now until 31 January 2016, so hurry up before the plates and bowls hop along out of the door, hot on the heels of those hares.