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A spotlight on clay: Shaping Language with ‘Clay Formes’

artthrob, Lauren Shantall, april 2024

Clay Formes: Contemporary Clay from South Africa’, a recently released volume edited by Olivia Barrell, proposes a dictionary addition in its very title. Barrell has reached beyond common word usage to give more expansive, fuller expression to a field where the existing descriptive terms are perhaps too stunted to encompass what she wishes to articulate…

Navigating the noise with ‘Art Formes’

artthrob, Minna Dundas, april 2024

Clay Formes has therefore created a platform that spotlights the ascendency of not only clay as the ‘zeitgeist medium’ within contemporary South African art but likewise Barrell’s art historical approach as a calming force that effectively sifts through the noise that is this emerging market of brash ceramic works, discerning the true masters within this nuanced medium…

a new publication on Andile Dyalvane WITH text by olivia barrell

your luxury africa, april 2024

The 184-page monograph, made in collaboration with the Almas Foundation, is accompanied by a documentary tracing the trajectory of Andile’s practice. Barrell traces Andile’s work with a thorough and insightful analysis. Through this text, she provides a sense of nostalgia and a deep connection to memory, particularly in preserving traditional rural ways of life…

Ashraf Jamal’s reflections on Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2024

artthrob, ashraf jamal, MARCH 2024

This desire for heightened connectivity, some beautifully mortal frisson, was also eloquently expressed by the clay works exhibited by Olivia Barrell. Her book, Clay Formes: Contemporary Clay from South Africa, was one of the most important published in 2023 – not least because it reintroduced the art world to the vitality of ceramics…

Feat of clay: A much-needed addition to any art lover’s book stash

LIFESTYLING, MARTIN JACOBS, FEb 2024

A much-needed addition to any art lover’s book stash, Clay Formes: Contemporary Clay from South Africa explores the studios of thirty local artists. Published by South African art historian Olivia Barrell, it includes familiar names including Katherine Glenday, Zizipho Poswa, Ruan Hoffmann and Ben Orkin. We dive into its pages and present the work of five featured artists from the book…

THE METAMORPHOSIS OF SOUTH AFRICAN CLAY ARTISTS

latitudes, sean o’toole, june 2023

Two years ago, recognising the astonishment of talent among South African artists working with clay, Olivia Barrell decided it was time to – figuratively speaking – get her hands dirty. A Sorbonne-trained art historian with auction house experience cataloguing classical Asian ceramics, Barrell, who lives in Cape Town, launched Art Formes, an online platform devoted to celebrating clay and its diverse proponents…

Dedicated to contemporary clay and ceramics from South Africa. The first publication of its kind, published by Art Formes. 

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