[imagebrowser id=22]Since 2002 the Benyamini Center has sponsored numerous world-renowned ceramic artists to come to Israel and participate in symposia and workshops. The purpose of our program is to enhance the level of professional ceramists and students. These demonstrations and master-classes broaden the scope of understanding the medium, inspire artists towards excellence, and raise the level of work produced in Israel.
This cultural exchange creates ties with other ceramic communities and opportunities for local artists to make connections abroad. Our guests experience the diverse landscape and culture of the country as well as the warm hospitality of our community and from the feedback we have received, return home with a positive image of Israel and so become ambassadors for our country.
Artists who visited Israel with the Benyamini Center Visiting Artists program:
Susan Collett – Canada. Guest artist at Neot HaKikar, February 2009
Susan Collet creates large porcelain paper clay vessels using a unique technique of building. The objects look as if they have been retrieved from the sea and are reminiscent of corals. Her luminescent ceramic vessels seem delicate and fragile yet they express strength and presence.
Fong Choo – USA/Singapore. Guest artist at Tel Hai, December 2008
For more than ten years Fong Choo‘s work has focused on miniature teapots inspired by traditional Chinese Yixing teapots. He continues to challenge and explore the boundaries of this complex object addressing color, design and form.
I was one of the presenters at Tel Hai College. It arguably was one of the greatest highlights of my clay career of 26 years,” Says Fong Choo a guest of the Visiting Artist Program. “Along with two other presenters, Gareth Mason and Merete Ramussen from England, we were greeted with the most incredible hospitality by our gracious host Yael Novak. We were chauffeured around and toured the incredible country of Israel. At the conference, of the most memorable moments was at the end. Glancing down I noticed a long line of attendees. They were there to simply greet, thank and embrace what I shared with them for several delightful days. That touched my heart to feel such gratitude. Clay just has this great affinity to bridge gaps and bring us all together. Thanks to the Benyamini Foundation and to all the others that made it happen.”
Les Manning – Canada. Guest artist at Neot Hakikar, February 2008
The ceramic works by Les Manning are inspired by the dynamic landscape of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He combines different clay bodies and by throwing and altering the forms gets a very personal artistic result. The combination of these disparate materials causes stress in the ceramic process, similar to the natural forces that create the landscape from which these pieces were inspired.
Chris Gustin – USA. Guest Artist at Tel Hai, December 2007
Chris Gustin makes pots that allude to function and at the same time make connections to the human figure. The use of the pot context allows for abstraction. The skin of the clay holds the invisible interior of the vessel and the forms are manipulated “around” that air, constraining it, enclosing it, or letting it expand and swell.
Jackson Li – China/Canada. Guest artist at Neot Hakikar, February 2007
Jackson Li is a world renowned artist. His work combines the cultures of east and west and even though his sculptures are not large they feel monumental. In addition to his clay work he continues the ancient tradition of hand made paintbrushes. He is the director of the San Bao Ceramic Center which he established in Jingdejhen, the porcelain capital of China.
Robin Hopper – Canada. Guest artist at Tel Hai. December 2006
Robin’s work includes a great deal of ceramic historical and technical research, and an ongoing studio involvement with both functional production and one-of-a-kind art works, primarily in porcelain. Next to ceramics his other life-long passion is gardening, particularly Oriental gardens. His “Anglojapanadian Garden” at ’Chosin Pottery has been widely featured. He is author of several books and videos on the various aspects of ceramics and ceramic technology.
Mitsuo Shoji – Australia/Japan. Guest artist at Neot Ha Kikar, February 2006
Mitsuo’s ceramics are not limited to functional design ware; his work covers a broad range including hand built sculptural objects. He also experiments with paintings, which utilize ceramic elements such as fire and sometimes clay slip, gold and silver leaf. These unique two-dimensional works: “Ceramic Paintings”, as he calls them, are based firmly within his own life and experiences. Mitsuo Shoji has been based in Australia since 1973
Leah Leitson – USA. Guest artist at Tel Hai, December 2005
Leah makes wheel-thrown pottery that is altered and assembled and brings sculptural expression to functional ceramics. The forms are predominately inspired by eighteenth and nineteenth century decorative arts, particularly utilitarian silver tableware and Sevres porcelain as well as plant forms in nature.
Linda Lighton – USA. Guest artist at Afeka, february 2005
Linda‘s sculptures are defined by their sensuality, fertility and empowered sexuality. The work explores various microcosms evolved from the ideas of growth and transition, from the feminine point of view. They present the life force and celebrate the spirit of life.
Linda Christiansen – USA. Guest artist at Tel Hai, December 2004
Linda Christiansen explores the daily relationship with utilitarian pots. Working with stoneware or porcelain, the pots are initially formed on a treadle wheel. Cut apart, reassembled, handled, or footed, the pots are coated with a thick slip and fired in a wood or salt kiln. The exterior of the pots depends upon a combination of atmosphere, wood, and salt from the kiln.
David Binns & Wendy Lawrence – England. Guest artists at Neot Ha Kikar, February 2004
David Binns work draws inspiration from forms and textures found in engineering, architecture and the natural landscape employing new material processes. The objects have a complex surface but convey a sense of quietness and simplicity. He has developed a process of kiln cast ceramic aggregates and glass forming materials. All the work is finished through a process of grinding and polishing.
Wendy Lawrence work draws inspiration from forms, textures and surfaces found in eroded rock and the landscape of antiquity; architecture, culture and worship as well as the forces of the geological process.
Nick Joerling – USA. Guest artist at Tel Hai, December 2003
Nick makes pots that are inspired by people and their bodies; they talk of profile and animation. “I hope for pots that have qualities of sensuality, compassion, humor and risk.”
Malchaz Schvelidze – Georgia. Guest artist at Afeka, May 2003
Malchaz creates sculptures and architectonic constructions that incorporate an amazing collection of elements like pieces of a puzzle. Inspired by ancient Etruscan archaeology, his work displays his own personal imagination and a unique interpretation of traditional culture.
Richard Dewar – England/France. Guest artist at Tel Hai, December 2003
Richard Dewar trained in England and has since moved to France where he lives and works in Locoal-Mendian. Richard creates salt glazed wood fired stoneware.