Baye Riddell

Ceramic artist

Hikurangi te maunga
Waiapu te awa
Ngati Porou te iwi

Marotiri te maunga
Hauini te manga
Ruataupare te hapu

Born in 1950, Baye began working with clay in Christchurch in 1974. He currently resides in his tribal area on the East Coast, Tokomaru Bay and Gisborne where he has been working since 1979. Baye prefers to use local clay dug from his family land as ‘this evokes a respect for the material and a sense of connection with my tipuna. I use wheel and hand building techniques to form the pieces’.

‘Each life journey is unique – an artwork to be won and shaped from the experiences that befall us or that we choose to embrace and enter into. Ethnicity, gender and circumstance befall us – we choose our beliefs. We fashion a world view from perceived truths and defining moments. Hopefully our art is an expression of who we are and what we believe in – how we see the world. For myself, this is important and I draw from the various layers, cultural, spiritual, social, political, psychological, physical, etc – that make up who I am at the present time.
The possibilities for exploration within each layer is extensive. The possible combinations and permutations between layers is, to all intents and purposes, limitless. The real challenge is not to compromise – to explore and express without regard for market, social or critical approval. It’s not easy, sometimes I succeed – sometimes I fail. That’s the journey – that’s life – that’s art.’