This plate was designed and made by John Dermer (b.1949) in Australia in 1995. Commissioned by the shop at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, this work is one of six platters that John Dermer made for retail sales during the 1996 Turner exhibition. Inspired by the red and black colours in Turner's paintings of the Houses of Parliament burning, and of loading coals at night, he used oil-spot and tomato red coloured glazes. Although he has usually focused on the production of large functional pots using the salt-glaze firing process, for this exhibition he decided to use these colours and glazes as appropriate to the theme of the exhibition. He later used the technique again for personal work produced in November 2000.
Born in Australia in 1949, John Dermer has been a major figure in Australian ceramics for many years. He works predominantly with salt glazes although also developed expertise in terra sigillata techniques when commissioned to make a series of large vessels for New Parliament House in Canberra in 1988. He completed his training at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology where he took a Diploma in Art and Design (Ceramics) in 1970, then travelled and worked in Europe and North America. In 1975 he established his pottery studio, 'Kirby's Flat Pottery' at Yackandandah, in north-east Victoria and has lived and worked there ever since. He now works mainly towards annual exhibitions at his studio. He is represented in the collections and has also exhibited in Japan, London, the United States of America, Germany, New Zealand, and North America.