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Janet Mansfield

The Virtual Ceramics Exhibition is the first of its kind, a totally new concept and one that uses the latest, most sophisticated technology. Through Clayart, the international bulletin board for ceramists, worthwhile and useful information has been exchanged and positive contact made between people of similar interests. This exhibition which the founders of Clayart have been inspired to present, is an extension of this exchange. I felt honoured to be asked to be a part of this initial exhibition.

Selecting the work to be shown was not an easy task. We may never be destined to see the work in the round but, as in a slide show or a catalogue of an exhibition, we see only the photographic image. It became important that the photograph was of the highest quality to do justice to both the work and the exhibition. It is possible that the exhibition will be seen in many countries and over a considerable length of time.

I believe a juror's statement should indicate his or her reasons for the selection of work s to be shown (even if, at the same time, it reveals the bias of the judge.) I am always excited by work that extends an idea or a takes a traditional form and brings a new and contemporary expression to it. Some of the work presented for selection did this and some of the work provoked me to revise my preconceptions or interpretations of what was possible in a particular form, I saw work that showed imagination, skills, the fine use of ceramic materials and processes and some that were simply beautiful. I sought out what I thought to be the intention of the maker, and how well that purpose was resolved.

After viewing the slides several times, an overall standard of quality emerged even though the works were so diverse. Much of the individual work was unfamiliar to me although some of it I had seen in magazine articles and catalogues. When I came to the final choice (including the prerequisite of sufficient photographic quality for scanning as a computer image), it seemed that most fields of ceramic endeavour were covered including decorative, functional, sculptural, architectural and installation works. Connecting the ceramists to the works after the selection, and recognising many of the names from their contributions to Clayart, was of interest to me. Of general interest, perhaps, was that both jurors chose 50 names the same, while each of us chose an equal number of different artists.

I wish the organisers success in this new and imaginative exhibition concept. As well, I thank all those who entered to give others the opportunity to see their work. The long-term results of this exchange will be to the benefit of ceramists everywhere. Good luck to all.

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