BERNARD LEACH IN NEW ZEALAND
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Bernard Howell Leach was a British studio potter and art teacher regarded as the “Father of British studio pottery” and who wrote “A Potters Book” in 1940 which defined his philosophy and techniques.
Leach visited New Zealand in 1962 and spent a month travelling the country sharing his vision which embraced a combination of Eastern and Western techniques and aesthetics. This film documents his visit to the home and studio of Len Castle in Titirangi, West Auckland where he also met with Barry Brickell. It was commissioned by Helen Mason and her notes regarding this indicate the production cost £20, £20 in 1962 is equivalent to $865 in 2019.
Title: Tristram Films.
Title: Bernard Leach in New Zealand.
Bernard Leach talks with Barry Brickell in a potters workshop while Len Castle throws clay on potters wheel.
Brickell, Castle and Leach talk while examining kiln in a backyard surrounded by native bush and ferns.
Peter Stichbury displays some of his own pots, jars and bowls while discussing the influence and importance of Leach and Michael Cardew on his own pottery, some of which was created in St Ives in Cornwall and also in Nigeria.
Len Castle discusses the influence of Bernard Leach on his own work while displaying various bowls, vases, jugs and other earthenware.
Discussion between Bernard Leach, Len Castle and Barry Brickell regarding his visit to New Zealand and his thoughts on the landscape, the wealth of materials for potters in Aotearoa and the need for collaboration and sharing amongst artists.
They discuss the need for constraint and discipline among artists when creating works, the influence of Japanese craftsmen and artisans and the question of whether national traditions, aesthetics and character in arts and crafts are made or born.
It closes with Leach giving guidance to Castle and Brickell on how to create good pots.
End Title: Bernard Leach’s visit was sponsored by Crown Lynn Potteries, The Arts Advisory Council, The Japan Society of New Zealand, Auckland Studio Potters, Seaboard Joinery Ltd... and the New Zealand Potter Magazine. Dr. Terry Barrow arranged the visit. The film was made at the home of Len Castle who, with Barry Brickell and Peter Stichbury, appears in the film which was commissioned by Helen Mason.
Reference number F223968
Collection Film and Video Collection
Media type Moving Image
Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA
Production company Tristan Films
Producer: Hamish Keith
Director: Ian McLean
Camera: Sigmund Spath
Sound: Robin Gummer
Related Link New Zealand Listener