Castle – a defining contribution
Sulphurous bowl (2009) is from one of the last series of works by eminent New Zealand potter Len Castle, who died in late 2011. Its glaze evokes the country’s volcanic landscape, which so captivated him.
Castle began working as a potter in the late 1940s, when New Zealand studio pottery was still in its infancy. He was an innovator, particularly in his exploration of the properties of clay and his experimentation with form. Over time, his work became increasingly conceptual, reflecting his growing interest in New Zealand’s geothermal and coastal landscapes.
Te Papa’s various acquisitions of Castle’s work, including recent ones, acknowledge his important role in the New Zealand ceramics movement.
This text was prepared for the Collecting Contemporary exhibition, February 2012.