Petrus Spronk

You still have just enough time to view a remarkable show in the Daylesford Museum. A show which has those locals who have viewed it feeling warm all over walking out the place, very surprised, as in delightedly surprised.

So, what is this remarkable show all about? It started, as all those special events do, with an idea. To which I will therefore apply my favourite saying, and title, to this exhibition.

“If you have a good idea, act upon it.”

And this is the idea. Once upon a time there was museum curator who had a dream. A dream of creating some magic with the building in which the museum was housed. A building which was worn, leaking and consequently rotting, in all – in a pretty bad shape. (How the word “pretty” fits in here is a mystery). This was not the result of a lack of love for the place, but more a case of lack of the green stuff – money – or pure energy.

He set as his goal to change the in-not-so-good shape building into a palace dedicated to the preservation of the physical aspects of the history of the place in which the museum it was situated. A grant seemed to have done the trick. And one day, there it was, all fixed and lovely, painted and polished, smiling love into the street.

Then one day, a local artist while walking passed the museum was stopped by the same museum curator who had a spontaneous idea. And since it was a good idea, he acted upon it at once. He asked the artist if he was willing to donate one of his works to his sparkling newly restored museum. The artist, knowing that giving creates happiness, agreed. The curator told the artist that his work would be cared for.

And here comes the good idea. When the artist got home he thought there are a lot more ceramicists whose work should be
in the museum. Future generations could learn about what sort of ceramics the artists from the 2020 were making. He called up his fellow ceramicists and asked if they would donate a signature piece of their work for prosperity. None of the 17 clay people he contacted refused to partake. The artist thought 17 pieces of work would make a nice exhibition. Value adding to his idea, the artist thought “exhibition”.

The artists were asked to bring a plate, the artist gave a speech and the show was on the road. The generosity of spirit at work,
he went to a gallery and suggested an exhibition in the gallery’s front window and to make the ceramicist’s time worth their while, he set up a “for sale” exhibition in the main body of the gallery and together with the two directors organised an opening and another art event was born. At the end of the exhibition the pieces were carefully wrapped and transported to the museum.

In the meantime the curator was scratching his head, wondering how he would install an exhibition of ceramics without any plinths. He was faced with an empty space, left by the local brass band, and in it a large wooden table. We do not know what took place inside the curator’s head but on the day of the launch of the collection, when the curator opened the door to the space in which he had created a piece of his magical art installation, it turned the curator into an artist curator.

This is the short story of the of the exhibition now open for viewing at the Museum next to the Post Office. It will be there until the 15th of July, only open on Saturdays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and since time flies it would be worth your while to go and check it out if you want to see a wonderful exhibition of contemporary ceramics. The artists stepped out so why don’t you also and check out the magic which can be made with clay.

Petrus Spronk is a local author and artist who contributes a monthly column to The Wombat Post.