Ceramic artist’s magnificent plates on show

Brett Adkins

THE theme behind a joint exhibition which opened in Port Elizabeth last night is a quote from Palestinian poet Taha Ali: “Art is worthless unless it plants a measure of splendour in people’s hearts.”

So says one of the artists involved, Lee Hensberg, who is exhibiting no fewer than 50 intricately hand-painted plates along with selected paintings by Stephanie Liebetrau.

A Measure of Splendour is on at the Ron Belling Gallery in Park Drive.

Of her impressive array of plates, Hensberg said each ceramic was subjected to two to three firings – perhaps even four – as part of what was a meticulous process.

“The subject matter is funky and quirky, and includes our African influence,” Hensberg, who studied fine art in both Pretoria and Port Elizabeth, said.

The ceramic artist admits that, compared to a canvas which is simply straightforward, the complexities of what she does can sometimes be torturous – especially when you have a disaster like three “beautiful” plates which cracked when she stacked them on top of each other. You can get quite emotional about it.”

The painting process itself is so intricate and precise that people often remark that the images on her plates are like a photograph. “I use a triple nought brush for this,” she explained.

Hensberg said the plates would be on offer at between about R300 and R1 250 “and I’m hoping for a sell-out”.

Liebetrau, with her bold and striking style, is exhibiting both larger and smaller selected works.

Viewing times are from 10am to 4pm daily, and from 10am to 1pm on Saturdays.

For inquiries, contact Hensberg on 082-651-7722, or Liebetrau on 082-8774138

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