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Speech of the vernissage of the exhibition „Dialog“, Museum of the town of Bad Berleburg, 1992 – Extract



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You all know that over the last 15 years clay work has become more popular. You can hardly find a school, a college for further education or evening school where they do not offer courses for potting or modelling with clay.

The evolution of a hobby activity to artistic professionalism is a long way to go. I am mentioning this to avoid misunderstandings and because the prophet is often not taken seriously in his own country: this exhibition is not the result of an ambitious hobby-group, but Renate Hahn After having taken part in International Symposia for Ceramics she has herself decided to be active and has invited three well-known ceramists from Ireland, Slovakia and Michigan/USA to create works of art together… 

I would like to congratulate Renate Hahn for having taken this initiative and at the same time for the artistic success of this symposium.-

The presented works show that the artistic starting points are totally different from each other.

The works of Renate Hahn and Georgette Zirbes are based on themes of their personal lives, Deidre McLoughlin is inventing forms and Rudolf Malacky tries to trace the character of the material and the natural structures of clay.

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Renate Hahn – as a member of the International Ceramics Symposium Bechyne/Cz – two years ago was faced with the political and social changes of this country. Her work reflects this situation, which she has experienced as growing insecurity and instability.

Her sculpture is a ceramic column which is structured horizontally and included glass elements. The column itself is built out of stone like square pieces and seems to be statically and optically secure. But the square stones are in a strange way softly and organically formed like bones and joints so that – just like with a spine – you get, apart from the static stability,  the impression of instability. This impression of mobility is intensified by glass cross-bars which are thicker at their ends and which function as balancing-poles being placed right in the middle of the column. If there is bright light the outlines of the transparent glass-bars become blurred. This intensifies their vagueness and the insecurity of their balance.
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Similar themes are being chosen by Georgette Zirbes. She tries to show polarity which means opposition of two sides which would be complementary, as well as instability, diversity and “pairs”.

There is a stone like block, on top you find a hollow like a plate and into this an open vessel with round base is placed as a separate form.

The stone like block which carries the open vessel is not a foundation which would give static security or a solid pedestal, but this form is made by lines which drop and glide downwards.
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Deidre McLoughlin says: “ I make forms.”… To create forms out of ideas and by imagination is a kind of conjuration. You need knowledge and energy to change the vague and raw of natural materials into artificial form, to bring forth and make speak the idea. – materialized and embodied as artificial form. Only the language of form animates the artificial plastic object
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The forms of Deidre McLoughlin are not naturalistic which means they belong to an artificial

world. To create and define the form is a meditation of utmost power and discipline.