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Ceramicist prepares for growth in China

Alistair Stevenson holds solo exhibit at DAF Gallery
  • Artist Alistair Stevenson poses next to one of the featured works in The Growth Series exhibition at the D'aguilar Art Foundation. TORRELL GLINTON.

Guardian Arts & Culture

Published: Aug 17, 2013

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China has fast become one of the world's economic powerhouses, with nearly 20 percent of the world's population and an ever growing middle class.
Many Bahamians are currently studying there in all manner of disciplines.

Ceramicist Alistair Stevenson will be among those this fall when he begins his studies in Mandarin at Nanjing Normal University in Jiangsu Province. He will eventually travel to Jingdezhen Province to obtain a bachelor's degree in Ceramic Art at Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute.

Jingdezhen is famous for producing 90 percent of the world's blue and white porcelain and having over 1,500 years of history in ceramics.

In preparation for his adventure, Stevenson held his first solo exhibition "The Growth Series" on Thursday, August 15, 6-9 p.m. at the D'Aguilar Art Foundation.

The purpose was to discuss his personal and professional growth since beginning his art studies at the College of The Bahamas as well as where his work is going now that he will be studying ceramic design in China.

"My work is usually inspired by very natural, seed-like organic forms," Stevenson told Arts&Culture. "The work usually references trees or water or corals, very much the natural surroundings here in the country."

Stevenson, a curator at the D’Aguilar Art Foundation Gallery described his pieces as a discussion of growth.

He uses basic shapes that transform into organic forms and shapes, showing a sense of pattern and what is referred to as progressive rhythm.

After obtaining an associate’s in art from COB in Spring 2012, Stevenson completed a six-week ceramics course in China last summer and was accepted into a scholarship program this year to study ceramic art.

"My long-term goal would be learning how to make very organic forms with man-made designs," said the 23-year-old Long Islander.

 "And [I also want to] look into the commercial aspect of ceramics and learn more about the creative industry and also how that can be something that can really be pushed here in The Bahamas, because we're trying here now."

The foundation's gallery on Virginia Street does not normally act as a commercial art space, but the D’Aguilars have taken Stevenson under their wing and has allowed him to show and sell his work in aid of his studies in China.

"I would like to say a really big thank you to this community... I'm just extremely grateful for all of the support I've always gotten, and I look forward to having more of that,” said Stevenson.

“But I also look forward to one day being able to give back as well to this community as well as others and kind of 'pay it forward' so to speak."

"The Growth Series" is on exhibit at the D’Aguilar  Art Foundation, Virginia Street.

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