Kevin Grealy (1941- ) was born in Brisbane, QLD. He trained as an art teacher in the early 1960s, learning ceramics under Carl McConnell at the Central Technical College, where he first met Mervyn Moriarty.
In 1966, Kevin migrated to Canada and completed a B. Ed. (Fine Art) majoring in ceramics and printmaking at the University of Calgary, Alberta. In 1970, he returned to Australia and in 1974, took up a position as manager of the Barambah Pottery at Cherbourg.
He joined Australian Flying Art School in 1976 and wrote a three year correspondence course in ceramics.
From 1981 to the present day Kevin has been a freelance artist, teacher, lecturer and design consultant in Australia, Taiwan, Vietnam and P R China. He is currently producing a book on the history and technology of the Chinese Dragon Kilns.
In his early work, he specialised in domestic wares and architectural commissions. His current work is more experimental. He is interested in the patina of age on surfaces and he also uses a carved motif based on the orange trumpet vine.
Kevin is joining the panel with Pat Hoffie, John Honeywill and Merv for In Conversation with Merv Moriarty at the Judith Wright Centre on 8 October.
What was your first impression of ‘the flying artist’ himself?
First impressions of Merv….? How could you miss him, even in a crowd! Tall, loud, humorous and always entertaining!! Prime assets in his kit were his blunt honesty, his command of the subject, and his ability to tailor different ways for different people for explaining concepts in art.
What was the most profound learning or experience you gained from Merv’s teachings/your involvement with Flying Arts?
The most important quality I gained from Merv was the importance of being yourself, both in your work and your beliefs. In practice this led to opening students’ eyes to discovering the qualities of their immediate environment; to seeing their world through the magnifying glass or as the grand vista with focal length at infinity, or to every depth of field between. A student of Merv Moriarty would never need to say “I don’t know what to draw?”
Where can you see this influence in your practice/career today?
Since my AFAS days, I have lived amongst the Glasshouse Mountains. They provide imagery for my printmaking and their flora provide motifs for my pots. Their eroded rocks provide the clay for my pots and crushed rock provides the glazes. Their trees fire my kiln and the ash is the seasoning on the glazes. If I was a winemaker, I’d be using the word terroir to describe the relationship between my work and the region in which it is made.
- Kevin Grealy
- Kevin Grealy, Collograph and Relief Print
- Kevin Grealy, Wood fired Porcelain jar
- Merv Moriarty and Kevin Grealy c. 1970/80s
- Kevin Grealy, Corroded Disk 1
- Kevin Grealy, Corroded Disk 2