The James Gleeson oral history collection
James Gleeson interviews Australia's major artists
To picket 1972
sculpture, glazed earthenware, wood, steel
119.8 (h) x 369.8 (w) x 26.0 (d) cm
27 August 1979 [unknown location]
James Gleeson: Yes, yes. It’s a beauty, I like that one. To picket 1972, ceramic and timber. We haven’t got a photograph of that. I don’t know why. It’s probably difficult to photograph, is it?
Aleksander Danko: I wouldn’t have thought so. I mean, it’s quite a large piece. I mean, it was predominantly made of ceramic material. I mean, it’s all handmade sort of. It has two columns which were like fence posts but they’ve got a kind of brick veneer finish all out of clay; two clay bodies, one white, one red. So the piece would be about, oh, eight feet wide, I guess. There’s a length of timber that spans the two upright members, and there are ceramic pickets which have been press moulded and they have written on them to the words, ‘To picket’. They just are bolted to the timber member so they span that space in between the two columns.
James Gleeson: I see.
Aleksander Danko: That’s what it is.
James Gleeson: Can it be taken apart?
Aleksander Danko: Yes, the whole thing unbolts.
James Gleeson: Oh, it unbolts.
Aleksanderr Danko: Yes.
James Gleeson: Where did you make the ceramic posts?
Aleksander Danko: Well, the whole piece was made at Sydney University Art Workshop.
James Gleeson: They have a kiln there?
Aleksander Danko: Yes. That piece was from a show which was an all ceramic show called Ideas, Words, Processes. I mean, that show followed after the show Heavy Aesthetic Content. I’m just trying to sort of fill in why I started working in ceramics. Is that okay?
James Gleeson: Yes, sure.
Aleksander Danko: Because like in ’71 most of the things I’d made were like pre-fabricated and I just assembled them. In ’72 I decided to actually make everything myself as far as possible. So that’s why I decided to work in ceramics. I mean, I had worked quite a lot in ceramics when I was a student and hadn’t really worked in that medium for about two years. I was given some space at the art workshop to actually set up a small studio. So I actually worked there for almost a year assembling or actually building up a show which was all ceramic work. That piece comes from that.