Dance / “Happiness is…Celebrating 40 Years of Canberra Dance Theatre”. Directed by Jacqui Simmonds at The Street Theatre. October 14. Reviewed by BILL STEPHENS
GREG Daly is a virtuoso of glazes. In this large exhibition, he has captured the sense of summer – the heat, the shimmering haze, the warmth that rises from the ground, the scents of grass baking in the sun, and most of all the changing light – all through his use of glazes.
Daly is showing rounded forms, some with sharply rimmed edges that draw the eye and take it back down the wall of the form, as in Catalogue 15, “Light and Mist”; others have smooth rims that take the eye skimming over the top and down the other side. The rounded bases touch the horizontal surface lightly.
The titles of the works hint at Daly’s intent: Catalogue No. 1, “Yesterday’s Sky” is colourful with bands of glazing winding around the form – I can read the landscape, bathed in sunlight, and the hues in the sky.
Catalogue No. 53, “Day Begins” is more representational as the early morning light shines on hills and paddocks, highlighting patches of green.
Daly is playing with some new forms, and new surface decoration in this show. Smooth, flat discs which sit on the wall and also sit on a flat surface are canvases for the glaze. Catalogue No. 39, from the series “A moment in the day”, shows the pink and yellow of a summery sky, at sunset. A wide stroke of green blends into more yellow, splashed with white – the grass shining in the sun.
Catalogue No. 46 is from the “Paddock Series”. Viewed from the roof of his studio, Daly saw the outlines of paddocks with tracks and fences that divide the land and he translated the scene to small, shallow bowls. These scenes work well and certainly evoke the countryside where Daly lives and works.
Daly is such a prolific artist and he makes it all look so easy. However, the complex layering of glazes requires an extraordinary understanding and familiarity with both the forms and the glaze materials.
This is a very rewarding show and should not be missed.