Thursday 22 January 2009

Bunty O'Connor

Bunty works out of her literal pottery barn. It is at once a quiet and serene place but it is also a place of activity with the presence of the big kilns in the background. The BBC radio rumbles along in the background while everyone works quietly.

On one of the work tables lie two large cannon ball fruit. Bunty is trying to propogate the cannon ball tree by seed. Because this is another passion; the propagation of trees. A large jacaranda tree guards the entrance to the barn and everywhere one looks there are large trees.

I could spend days here observing the magical alchemy that transforms pliable clay into pottery. Ever generous, her garden is dotted with not just her work but also with pieces done by other artists that have worked with her in the studio.
The piece below was done by Bunty's talented sculptor friend Dharmbodh ( also known as Westmaas).
He did a few others around Bunty's garden such a the fluid one below.
Bunty's own work change from show to show as her upcoming ouvre will illustrate. Visiting a Bunty show is always a joy because you can see where she has explored new territory. The work is never the same.
I was lucky a few years back to get my hands on one of her paintings- while she is known for her pottery and sculpture, she is also a gifted painter. Her painting of the Black Madonna of Montserrat now hangs in my living room where it gives me immense pleasure every day. To walk in the garden is a privilege. Bunty is doing tremendous work with seed collecting and propogation of indigenous trees. The family hikes regularly and much of her inspiration and creative spirit comes from this close connection with her landscape. She is surrounded by five acres of slightly undulating land that looks northwards up to the northern range and throws a backward glance to Tamana in the central range.
Bunty in her space
And Rory, kiln engineer extraordinaire.
The patio that opens out onto the garden and which can be populated at any time with chickens, cats, dogs, grandchildren or an assorted mix of the above.
A calathea flower that I came across in Bunty's garden. Being sorrounded by such tropical abundance must have an impact on the creative process and Bunty's determination to channel this process and follow the artistic impulse represents the best of our spirit here in Trinidad.
And as if organic eggs were not impressive enough, here are her fresh healthy lettuce. YUM!


Ndinombethe said...

What a lovely post about a beautiful woman!

Theresa said...

I have always loved that place, the vibes, the beauty, the calmness, the noisiness, the colour. Great post :)

My Chutney Garden said...

Thanks Tash and Theresa.
Look out for her upcoming show "Between Worlds" which is opening at The Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago next Tuesday. Lots of really great work.

Islandgirl said...

Lovely post about a great family and a magical second home. I feel so blessed to know the O'Connors. Thanks for capturing it all to share with the world.

Unknown said...

I met Bunty and Rory when I was down in TT - and I ran into them that same evening at a Pan Yard. They are great people and Bunty is an extraordinary and elegant woman. I love this post. I am doing a series of posts on my trip to Trinidad and I would REALLY appreciate it if you would allow me to link to this post. I took no pictures at the pottery factory - and I wish to heck I had.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. This is great work here being shown.