On Display: QAG, Gallery 3
Anne Dangar gave up painting to concentrate on pottery because she could not afford to buy proper painting materials. However, she soon came to prefer ceramics as a medium. Having learned traditional techniques from master potters in the Lyon region of France, she then taught them to the local children.
Dangar fused modernist design principles with traditional handmade methods to produce unique and inspired ceramic pieces, such as this tea service. The concentric circles suggest the elevating motif of the spiral — an emblem of Celtic cosmic symbolism.
In line with Albert Gleizes’s theories, Dangar drew on the iconography of ancient cultures, admired for its purity, which included Roman and Celtic styles. Like Gleizes, Dangar recognised the importance of craft and sought to create a unity between art, life and spirituality.
Despite living in France for many years, Dangar was one of a number of influential women artists who played an important part in the development of the modernist style in Sydney, and contributed to that debate in Australia. Her correspondence with Grace Crowley and other Australian artists resulted in a productive exchange of ideas around modern art, and Cubism in particular. She remained a devoted disciple of Gleizes and implemented his theories in her ceramic practice until her death in 1951.