A few weeks ago, I visited Clay Station in Southsea to check out some of their courses. Last year, I watched the Great Pottery Throw Down and became a bit obsessed with clay. I don’t know anyone who watched it who wasn’t enlightened to the wonders of ceramics! So I asked to drop by the studio, and thought it might be a good idea to take my camera…
There, I met Ginny, who runs the ceramic studio in the Omega Centre – a modern adult learning facility in an underprivileged area of Southsea. I was delighted to learn that she’s an artist at Artspace Portsmouth; I invigilated there at an open day about 10 years ago when my art teacher asked me to volunteer at the event. It was such a great experience, meeting working artists in their studios, so it was lovely to walk down memory lane with Ginny, discussing all-things-arty in and around Portsmouth. I have to say, I am rather out of the loop after swapping over to Graphic Design, and now Photography!
Ginny also provides classes to specialist groups of people on a volunteer basis – like those with terminal illnesses and learning difficulties. I was really touched by the stories she told me about the impact learning to throw clay has on those individuals, and the sheer effort Ginny goes to to keep the place open. As you can imagine, in the age of austerity, it isn’t easy to find funding for places like this (anyone with any knowledge about the creative scene in Portsmouth will know it’s been hit hard by cuts in recent years), and I was really inspired by Ginny’s passion for what she does and how much energy she puts into making a difference to the community.
Ginny agreed to let me take some photos of her in the process of a throw down – and I’m quite pleased with the results!
I’ve added an invitation to join her courses on some of the photos, as I was so inspired by Ginny’s talk that I thought a bit of social media promotion wouldn’t hurt her cause! The photos without any added extra’s are just ones I liked. I think I take for granted how much I know about promoting a business online. You really should take advantage of Social Media and all it has to offer – it’s essentially free advertising, and with my know-how, it’s easy to produce interesting, dynamic shots, with a call to action, that can promote what you do. I’ve donated these images for Ginny to use, as I know it’s for a worthy cause. I had fun taking these photos and learnt a lot about the studio and the Omega Centre in the process; I’m hoping to do a throwing course later on this year. In the meantime, I hope these photos will help Ginny to attract people to her studio – It really is an amazing little gem hidden in the depths of Portsmouth (I can’t believe I lived there for 5 years and only learnt about it once I moved away! I literally lived a five minute walk from there!) and I think everyone deserves to know about it! They’re due to hold an exhibition called ‘Clay without borders’ at the Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf on the 17th September – Check it out if you get the chance!