Chuck Joseph at the Portage Ceramic Awards 2018

Chuck Joseph with his work Von Tempsky Life and Death at The Portage Ceramic Awards opening night. The Exhibition which which was judged by Bari Ziperstein from Los Angeles and showcases New Zealand Ceramic runs until 10 February 2019 at Te Uru Gallery, Titirangi.


Portage Ceramic Awards 2017 at Te Uru Contemporary Gallery.

Chuck Joseph's 2017 work DREAM MCMXLV is on display at Te Uru until February 11th 2018. 

Presented in the form of a European table centrepiece, and to be viewed in the round, is the legend of “the Wild Hunt”, combined with the dream of a soldier at the end of WW2. The white stag and hare are chased by hounds, pursued and never caught.

Chuck Joseph Dream MCMXLV.JPG
Chuck Joseph Dream MCMXLV 2.JPG

Sculpted paper clay, glaze, stains and gold lustre. 430 x 430 x 200 mm.

A Postcard from the A.C.T

A Postcard from the A.C.T. is a response to 2 months spent with Louise Rive as artists-in-residence the Australian National University, School of Ceramics, Canberra, February and  March 2017.

A Postcard from the A.C.T. by Chuck Joseph

I didn’t know a that a river, a road, a nighttime parade of bats is silent!
I did a double take – birds? but no tails.
Yes, they are bats off to the plum trees.

There are Monsters in the basement, 
the brutal concrete basement of the N.G.A.
The totems, the power juju fetishes of Ramesh, 
hair and fur, teeth and claw.

Late at night we walked through the echoing decoing halls of the clay school
to put the bungs in the glowing kilns.

The headline coming in shouted “The Edge of Hell”.
We became Dante and Beatrice visiting the Edge of the Inferno.
It can’t be hell for makers of clay, 
so many possibilities, fires to fire in, and eternity.

Canberra, you gave me Silver Elvis and Phar Lap’s heart, 
death in the outback from Nolan about Ned, 
painting of a cop with his head in a wombat hole, 
bushrangers in dress and lace, burning pubs.
And the death of the Man in the iron Mask (the subject of the last conversation
I had with my father). 
Murder Ballads by the Eighth Blackbird made movies in my head.
Women singing in the night, Kasey and Martha.
You gave me Abba with the Symphony and more swirling flying foxes,
the Hoodoo Gurus, the starting point for so many creations.
The lyric goes: 
I’ve been wondering lately, am I crazy, to believe in ideals? NO
What’s my scene? 
And of course it is bittersweet, it’s always Bittersweet.

You gave me coffee, cannoli, comic shops and carousels, banh mi and Brodburgers.

We’ve seen Power Works of Indigenous bark and landscape painting,
and more Nolan panels painted from his Australian memory, 
now with a seat to view by Richard from North Carolina.
You gave me parrots and parrots and parrots, red and purple, sulphur crested and black, 
pet possums and 100 kangaroos on the nighttime oval.

You gave me Griffin lake with a magnificent thunderstorm, 
we sheltered under a bridge surrounded by flagpoles galore, 
including a single massive pine pole from Canada.
A Parliament with paintings of Prime Ministers.
I remember Keating, even Menzies, 
a Whitlam portrait, almost cartoon like, 
and Holt who disappeared into the sea
like my Grandfather - Russian submarine or Great White???

And you gave me The People

A Maori proverb asks
what is the most important thing in life! 
He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata,
It is The People, It is The People, It is The People. 

Chuck and Lucy also made ceramic postcards from the Edge to send out into the world…
souvenirs of Dante and Beatrice, Spring Gardens, Witness jugs, and experimental maquettes.

Love to Canberra,
4 arms to hold you. 

Lyrics credit: What’s My Scene courtesy of Dave Faulkner/Sony ATV Music.

 Ceramics Art+Perception #105 July 17

Ceramics Art+Perception #105 July 17

"Von Tempsky, Life and Death" in Vanished Delft at the Pah

Chuck Joseph's "Von Tempsky, Life and Death" ceramic centrepiece will be exhibited in Vanished Delft, at The Wallace Arts Trust Gallery at the Pah Homestead, Hillsborough, Auckland. Curated by ANNA MILES and part of the AUCKLAND ARTS FESTIVAL, Vanished Delft "is an exhibition of contemporary objectmaking in rooms once home to one of New Zealand’s most extravagant collections of furniture and fittings...The Wallace Trust’s collection of Arts and Crafts furniture will be pressed into service to act as plinths to an extensive display of handmade material culture of a contemporary kind." Vanished Delft  14 March to 14 May 2017

Intellectual Fashion Show at the Gus Fisher Gallery 8 Oct - 5 Nov 2016

In 1959, artist June Black held an exhibition titled the Intellectual Fashion Show. It included paintings, ceramic wall sculptures and a provocative commentary, presenting the concept of an ‘intellectual fashion house’ framing fashion as a powerful tool for self expression and as armour to protect the self from the rigours of daily life, social hypocrisy and cultural expectations.   Louise Rive and Chuck Joseph have each responded in this 2016 exhibition at the Gus Fisher Gallery to June Black's 1959 metaphorical costumes. 

Louise Rive. Costume #47: Costume for wallowing in solitude. The wardrobe of a clay effigy contains a kit: empty coathangers, cotton wool and a roll of barbed wire. It is an expression of my ambivalence towards the state of solitude.

Chuck Joseph. Costume #19: Costume to be worn over a heavy heart. From a photograph of a refugee child on a windblown Mediterranean shore, a gold survival blanket over the child's shoulders like cloak and playing with a stick sword. The costume gave the scene an innocent beauty but masks a Heavy Heart.                                       


Return from Gulgong

Chuck Joseph has just returned to Auckland from Clay Gulgong 2016 in NSW Australia where he was a member of a team of ceramicists and potters from New Zealand. Selected by curator and writer Moyra Elliott, the NZ 6 worked together on a concept and produced a major work which is to be fired and installed at the Mansfield farm, Morning View.  

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