Barry Brickell

Double Tube - Plate

Double Tube - Plate by Barry Brickell

Artwork Detail

New Zealand ceramic artist Barry Brickell’s exuberant work pulsed with humour and eroticism – something rare in New Zealand art. Fascinated with machinery, trains, the power of steam and fire, Brickell made hybrid clay forms with strong references to engineering. Described by one writer as ‘animated and vernacular’, his ceramics included engineering forms, new forms, hybrid forms, forms which speak of time, place, and especially the Pacific. Brickell stated: 'This is what excites me, making new forms to bring together images that have never been seen before. Perhaps they are a kind of anthropomorphic engineering…'

'Double Tube – Plate' fuses forms from Anglo-Oriental pottery with the language of machines, and steam engines specifically. It is a kind of robust homage to his love of railways, steam, fire and clay.

Brickell was inspired to take up pottery seriously after meeting New Zealand potter Len Castle (1924–2011) in 1950. Castle belonged to an earlier generation of potters and had taken classes with Olive Jones and Robert Nettleton Field. Castle introduced Brickell to pottery-making on the wheel, and the two built kilns together. Brickell became a full-time potter in 1961, and that year he purchased his first property near the township of Coromandel. In 1974, he purchased the adjacent 60-acre property, where his Driving Creek Railway and Potteries remain today. Driving Creek became an important place for young potters to learn and was also a creative hub for other artists and craftspeople.

Double Tube - Plate
Barry Brickell
Production date
terracotta clay
770 x 460 x 130 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Barry Perkins, 2018
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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