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Maker in Focus

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Carmarthen School of Art LecturersMaker in Focus

24 November - 05 January 2019



This Maker in Focus will showcase the work of three members of staff from Carmarthen School of Art at Coleg Sir Gar. Artist Jeweller Carol Gwizdak, Sculpture Lee Odishow and Ceramicist Ray Church all having achieved recognition as artists in their own right. All three produce pieces that balance a high level of technical skill and an intellectual approach to develop concept – as perceived- through the objects they make. This way of thinking and their attitude towards their craft is central to their engagement with both their own work and with students in their role as educators, heavily influencing how know-how is transmitted.  

In this, these individual practitioners demonstrate the ethos of the School. Its commitment to and national reputation for specialist skills based delivery coupled with intellectual engagement to heighten the communicative value of work produced. All engage with social, creative and cultural developments and the changing needs of its students, industry and wider community.

As a small Art School staff and students can easily communicate and collaborate across departments and all, including these three artists, are influenced by this highly, technical, flexible and creative environment.


Ray Church 

Taking classical Greek ceramics as his inspiration, Ray Church satirises political issues of today. The ancient Greeks recorded stories of daily life using visual imagery, often steeped in drama and tragedy. The artist replaces this with provocative contemporary narratives. The shape of the vessels, the style of decoration, even some of the specific patterns he re – uses are easy for us to look at because they are so familiar. This makes it all the more uncomfortable when we recognise the dark subject matters that Ray Church is presenting us with. 

Trained in Carmarthen School of Art he now works as a technician in the Ceramics and Jewellery degree department. His extensive technical knowledge and  fascination with how the art from the past continues to inspire artists now,supports student skill and intellectual development.


Carol Gwizdak

Focusing on ecological issues that draw on the visual and conceptual language of the natural world and in so doing she entreats us to reinstate nature in its purist form, as the most precious of all commodities. In more recent work the conceptual focus has become more urgent, driven by the ever-growing ecological uncertainties of our world. Pieces question the global values of current society and our obstinate disconnect with the planet. 

Trained in Birmingham School of Jewellery, Carol Gwizdak predominantly tutors students on the Ceramics and Jewellery degree department, working with them to apply technique and intellect in their practice.


Lee Odishow

As a fine art sculptor, he works within the traditional field of iron and bronze casting. Through these processes, he documents, preserves and comments on the objects that he finds, acquires or creates. Odishow’s purpose is to enhance or highlight the inherent beauty and complexities found within the world around us. The lost wax casting process effectively cremates the natural forms, leaving a void which is replaced by the molten metal. This act reverentially immortalises what has been lost, allowing the viewer the opportunity to explore and appreciate the finer qualities of that which once existed. 

Trained in Carmarthen School of Art as a tutor and technician within the Sculpture degree Department his technical knowledge, playful exploratory approach and attention to detail influences the students he works with.



Image: Carol Gwizdak, Borderline 2018, Mixed Media. 








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