Who's this?

This strange blue-headed character is a June Black ceramic 'Longbod' (1958), and he has just taken up residence on the dining room wall where he gazes serenely at the passing scene.

He's a seven piece figure, although the numbers written in felt on the back of each piece indicate that he used to be a twelve piece 'Bod' so there must have been some mishaps over the years. June Black (1910-2009) was a little known New Zealand artist who had the most extraordinary imagination. She invented a huge cast of painted and ceramic characters, led by the enigmatic Dr Endedus, who once mounted a valiant expedition to climb to the summit of Mt Eyedull Chatta and rescue the 20th century. This Longbod is one of the members of the expedition party but his identity has been lost over the decades.

I fell in love with him (who could resist that smile) when I saw a survey exhibition of June Black's work at Blikfang Art & Antiques at Northcote Point a few months ago. The show was curated by writer and artist Sheridan Keith, who is June Black's daughter, and Janie Van Woerden, who manages Blikfang and is currently completing an MA thesis on Black's work. You can read more about the exhibition here and I've also written a review of the show, which will be available in the forthcoming issue of Art New Zealand (no.156). If you're keen to know more, you'll be able to read a creative text I've written in response to another of June Black's fabulous Longbods (below) for the exhibition Empire of Dirt curated by Doris de Pont at Objectspace, which opens in early November and runs until Christmas.

Anyway, I'm loving the new addition to our increasingly weird art collection, and a certain living art work (of the furry variety), is pretty chuffed about it all too.

Enjoy your weekend. Isn't the sunshine glorious!


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