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  • Anna Donovan

August Already

Where’s time in such a hurry to get to I wonder. Since my last blog post the building in which I have my studio has reopened and so been there most days - no more working in the shed - I’ve applied for a grant from the Arts Council NI for funds towards buying my own kiln and am waiting until 5pm today to find out if my submission to this year’s Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition has been successfully pre-selected.

Lockdown forced me to admit that for my practice to flourish and keep any momentum going I need my own kiln at home that I can fire whenever I need/want to. At the moment I have use of a kiln at the Mill where my studio is which was incredibly important when I returned to my ceramics 3 years ago and will always appreciate that I could use it. However, now I am finding the time limitations when I can use it, the age and size of the kiln is restricting what I can do, plus when the building is shut, I have no access to it.

So, all going to plan, with the Arts Council’s help I will be able to get my own kiln before the end of the year. In the meantime, I have to prepare the space I am going to put it – the yard.


At the moment it is just your run-of-the-mill yard home to a few pots of herbs and a tomato plant (this is extremely ambitious for me). The plan is to get a Perspex roof over the whole space to make it weatherproof but still letting plenty of light in, there will also need to be a second cat-flap fitted and maybe even a whole new door to the alley. In the corner by the window is where I will house the kiln and there being a plug socket on the inside right there will hopefully mean getting it wired up will be a breeze – I know nothing about wiring anything up so really more hopeful this is the case than actually knowing for sure.

If I am not fortunate enough to get money towards a kiln, I’ll have gone ahead with the roof on the yard anyway – I think it’ll be good to have – almost like an extra room.

Yes, today (Monday) is the day all who have submitted to the RUA annual exhibition will find out if they are through to next stage. It’s all happened rather quickly deadline was only last Friday. The wonders of the modern age I suppose. I have put forward a piece that was originally going to be for a group exhibition in June and was going to be over twice the size. Then Covid 19 happened, but on the bright side I got something made. I’ve no idea if it will get chosen, I hope my images do it justice and anyway even if it is successful at this stage there’s one more to overcome before I know for sure it will be in the exhibition. I’ve been lucky enough to get in the last two years but again you just don’t know.

Well today I am home as there’s work to be done in the garden and the rain is meant to be giving us a break. Wish we could get some of that weather we had in April again. And this evening I’m putting on my scenic painter outfit for a few hours helping a friend for a play that’s on in a local shopping centre, maybe the future of theatre who knows…

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