Well, I had a terrific time attending the awards ceremony at the This beautiful country (it’s not much bigger than Wales!) on the edge of the Austrian Alps really is one of my favourites now.
As you know, my ‘Torn Notepad’ work had been short listed for a prize, but it didn’t win (sadly). The winners turned out to be working more in the line of ‘conceptual art’ ceramics, and I am more at the design end of the spectrum, so I didn’t feel badly about it.
The ceremony was conducted in a beautiful (if somewhat worn) baroque palace called Betnava Manor where the Association of Slovene Artists is based. The palace is situated in deep countryside some miles outside Maribor (this year’s European capital of Culture) but even so, over a hundred people attended.
Ceramicists from all over the world were there. Just some of those I managed to talk to were from Canada, Turkey, the US and more… and even Slovenian TV turned up!
I travelled back from Maribor with another English artist, Corinna Thornton, who’s now working in Norway – check out her work (http://corrinathornton.info/home.html) if you get the chance.
All in all, it was a pleasant evening, with specially composed music to boot, and it was good to see my work displayed among all the international entries.
The UNICUM exhibition – including the Notepad – continues at Betnava until the end of September – see http://www.unicum.si/exhibition.html
While in Slovenia I also took the opportunity to visit the capital, Ljubljana, where I met up with another ceramic designer, Nika Stupica, at her studio in the city.
Nika, like me, works in porcelain – making slip cast tableware and jewellery – and I loved her enthusiasm for her work, which you can see here on http://www.trgovina-ika.si/old/keramicarji/nika_stupica/nika_stupica.htm
All in all – a fabulous few days. I thoroughly recommend Slovenia!
You can see more about the awards finals on the UNICUM website – http://www.unicum.si/awards.html <http://www.unicum.si/awards.html> .
And there’s more about the history of Betnava Castle on Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betnava_Castle