Long-distance love affair

JUDITH RITCHIE
Last updated 14:14 16/01/2013
Rex Lucas
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ
DEEP IN CLAY: Lucinda Brown shows a selection of her ceramic art work from her Fragments and Serenity collections.

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Lucinda Brown believes in synchronicity, that things always come along at the right time. That is why this ceramic artist from Buckinghamshire, England, is in Nelson, her second visit to a place she now calls her ‘spiritual home'. Judith Ritchie reports.

It is really Golden Bay Lucinda Brown has lost her heart to, as she says when she comes over the hill and looks down into the bay, it feels like she is coming home. But that's another story.

Brown is here to promote her ceramic work and brings an intention to collaborate with local ceramic artists, who she invites to visit her studio home and garden in England.

Brown is staying in Golden Bay with Reg Turner, also an artist, who runs Song of the Tui Bed and Breakfast in Collingwood.

Brown has a background in the fashion industry, previously as a hatmaker for the French Connection in the 1990s.

After attending art school, she undertook a one-year postgraduate course funded by the local government and the European Union, in which the gap between leaving an arts institution and going into business was bridged by training in business and marketing skills.

Part of the course included being an exhibitor at a major trade exhibition in London. With 150 exhibitors, she shared a stall with 12 other artists. Over the three days of the trade show, more than 40,000 visitors came and went.

The experience was invaluable for the success of her own business as a ceramic artist, she says.

Now, part of her mission in life is to pass on skills and experience to other artists while they visit her studio and work alongside her.

After being in this area for a few weeks, she says she was "feeling a bit twitchy".

"I've had too much of a break."

So while she was in Nelson, she visited South St Gallery to collect some bags of clay. Now back in Golden Bay, she is looking forward to picking up the clay and having a "play" with Parapara ceramic artist Kyra Christen.

In return for the use of Christen's facilities, Brown will teach her how to do mould-making, along with many tips on clay sculpture techniques.

This is all part of her passion for collaboration and the perfect way for Brown to calm her twitch.

"If anyone wants to come over to England, they can stay and work in the studio, although I would have to clear out my office and make it into a spare room.

"Maybe couch surfing would work," she says.

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She has already met two German woofers ( willing workers on organic farms) at Reg Turner's B & B who intend to visit when in England, to do clay work and gardening and generally help out.

While at South St Gallery, Brown showed her sample pieces to owner Mike Rogers, who snapped them up straight away.

To see Lucinda Brown's limited-edition pieces, visit the gallery or go to lucindabrownsgallery.com. To contact Lucinda Brown about a potential working visit, go to: facebook.com/lucindabrownsgallery or phone her while she is staying with Reg Turner until the end of January, 03 524 8717.

- Nelson

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