¡®Back Towards the Future¡¯ Exhibition By Frederika Ernsten


On 3rd December 2017, Christchurch Ceramic Artist Frederika Ernsten held an opening ceremony for her ¡®Back, Towards the Future¡¯ Exhibition at Chamber Gallery, Rangiora, Christchurch. The Exhibition is held to commemorate Frederika¡¯s 50 years of creative life. Fo Guang Yuan (FGY) Art Gallery Christchurch was invited to the opening ceremony, and was represented by FGY Art Gallery coordinator Vicky Han and BLIA member James Low.

Now at an age of 81, Artist Frederika started her involvement with ceramic art work in the 60s, first as an apprentice, then as an artist, and finally as an artist cum exhibitor. Throughout these years, she has worked incessantly creating works with vigour. This time arround, her exhibits include 53 pieces of pottery, spanning a period from 1970 to the present, and covering a wide range from bowls, cups, urn, vases to tea pots, with each piece representing a specific period of her creative life. Visitors were taken in by Frederika¡¯s unique and artistic forms. The exhibits were so varied and representative that going through the exhibition gave one a feeling of treading through the history of New Zealand Ceramic Arts itself.

In her speech, Frederika thanked the organiser for their effort in organising the exhibition. She recounted how the earthquake has destroyed her own gallery, her personal ceramic collection, and her own home. It has also affected her life style and retarded her artistic creation. Though she has now shifted her focus to teaching, under the encouragement of her students, she has now regained the courage to start creating her own works. Once every week, Frederika would drive to the studio prepared by her students and continue with her search for creative inspirations.

In her conversation with Vicky and James, Frederika mentioned that last year¡¯s ¡®Dialog with Artists Tea Party¡¯ was her first visit to FGY Art Gallery. She loved the artistic ambience and spaciousness of the Gallery and intends to plan with a few artists from the Canterbury Society of Arts to hold a joint exhibition in FGY Art Gallery in the near future.