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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

ANTHONY SHAPIRO (article first published : 2007-11-19)

Life at a Buddhist retreat gives birth to ‘the year of the quiet bowl’

For the past year, Johannesburg master-potter Anthony Shapiro – who has exhibited around the world and has been profiled in much of the world’s glossy media – has been living a peaceful, magical life at the Ixopo Buddhist Retreat centre in KZN. For those in-the-know, this is a radical life-shift for Shapiro. Although farm-raised, he’s still very much a quintessential Jo’burger celebrated for his dark humour and high-burst energy.

No doubt, the South African décor and design media, culture vultures and collectors are all very familiar with Shapiro’s work-to-date – and rightfully so. There’s good reason why Shapiro’s work has been snapped up throughout South Africa, the US, the UK (through The Conran Shop), Japan, Europe and Australia.

However, his new direction – ‘the year of the quiet bowl’ as Shapiro quips – is “killer!” according to publicist, Josef Tallota. “Think almost eggshell-light vessels -you won’t believe how light they are when you pick them up - with a very peaceful spirit, the result of his year-long journey at the Buddhist retreat where he’s been working. Each of the pieces is hand-made by Shapiro who, this time around, has worked without his team. When I recently met him, I found someone who’s completely chilled -and chuffed - with his latest ‘crop.”

The Durban exhibition of Shapiro’s latest works is scheduled to open on November 25 at 11h00 at the home of Sue and Phil Greenberg home at 21 Mentone Road, Morningside, Durban. The exhibition will be opened by Louis Van Loon, the iconic founder of KZN’s legendary Ixopo Buddhist Retreat Centre, and will run through to December 2.

More information from Durban gallerist Sue Greenberg on 083 301-5747 or e-mail baysidegallery@telkomsa.net




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