Our 60th Diamond Jubilee Exhibition has closed on 20 November. How quickly the time went by!

Labour Weekend was action-packed with the opening of the exhibition and other associated events (a guided galleries walk in town and demonstrations at the Otago Polytechnic). Opening night was a bit different under Covid-19 Level 2 rules by having to restrict guest numbers, wearing masks and being unable to offer food and refreshments as is customary. At least we could serve departing guests a small birthday cupcake to take away as a thank you for having participated in the celebration.

Our speakers – apart from my welcome speech – were Doug Hart (OAS president and “host” in a manner of speaking), Louis Kittleson, our president, the judge Dr Emma Bugden and the Deputy Mayor Cr Christine Garey, who officially opened the exhibition.

The works of artists were presented on gleaming freshly painted plinths (donated now to the Otago Art Society) and spread over 3 gallery rooms, which allowed each work sufficient space for display. In the fourth small gallery we held a small retrospective display of images from the first exhibition, works by Oswold C. Stephens and other pots from early master potters kindly lent to us by collectors. The video display of interviews of some of our early master potters recollecting their times with our organisation and other pottery films sourced from Nga Taonga also generated much interest.

A full colour 78 page catalogue of the works on display has also been published. It contains not only the images of the works and artists’ bios but also articles by Moira White from the Otago Museum and the judge, Dr. Emma Bugden. It is a commemorative publication worthwhile having or giving away. Sales have done well so far. If you wish to order go the 60th National Exhibition page on our website. It is only $15 plus postage, a great price for a quality publication.

The entire exhibition was also videotaped and can be viewed on YouTube. I would suggest that in future all our national exhibitions be videotaped to have a record of the show as well as a means to advertise our organisation.

It was great to see – and was much appreciated by the Fusion 2010 team – that so many came, particularly from the North Island, considering the complications and uncertainties during Level 2 rules to take part in our Festival of Ceramics.

On the next day participants were treated to more ceramics in other art galleries who had their own artists’ works on show. A unique opportunity presented itself by getting an inside view of Architecture van Brandenburg’s workshop which left everyone impressed and inspired.

In the afternoon the judge, Dr. Emma Bugden gave a presentation at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, which generated lively discussions. Later that afternoon Council members met for a strategic meeting, which was continued the next day.

The Dunedin School of Art of the Otago Polytechnic offered on Sunday a range of activities and presentations, starting with a retrospective exhibition of Neil Grant’s works and a chance to meet him in person, followed by touring the new facilities of the ceramics department and demonstration of a 3D clay printer and three MA graduates presenting their works and studies.

The last day, Monday, offered a full day hands-on workshop with Michael Tannock at the School of Art, concluding the events of the Festival of Ceramics in Dunedin in 2021.

The team of Fusion 2010 who have made the event happen, hope that all who participated and attended the event enjoyed what had been offered and continue to be inspired by their experience in Dunedin.