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Glimmer is John Roy’s most recent wall-based installation. Each form is identical in its physical shape. However, each form is individual in its decoration. The shapes are pared back rodent heads jutting out from the flat wall, like trophies. A rodent is a most unlikely candidate for a trophy and Roy likes the play on what is usually seen as a pest versus a prize. The irony is endorsed with the large number of heads in this installation.

More often than not clay work is displayed on plinths but here Roy uses the wall as his flat surface meaning the works hang like paintings. This then raises the question of the status of clay work being a craft and not high art as painting is viewed as. The large number of rodent heads, all the same in shape, also alludes to the mass production of chinaware in factories. Yet these heads are individually made and each has its own personality.


For many, rodents are seen as a glimmer out the corner of one’s eye as they scurry about their business. Some of the rodents have sparkly jewels as part of their decoration making them glimmer in a bling-like manner unlike their real counterparts. For Roy, he likes to think there is always a glimmer of hope as an artist living in Tauranga as he makes his way in the competitive art scene of New Zealand.

John Roy is a Tauranga based artist. He studied ceramics at Wanganui Polytechnic graduating in 1997. His own trophies include a commission by Creative New Zealand in 2007 and his work being acquired for the Auckland War Memorial in 2006.

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