This is a pair of small vases by Harry Whyte for Gunda Pottery, which manufactured ceramic art pieces out of Melbourne in the 50s and 60s. The aboriginal motifs were produced for the souvenirware trade, and while the pair were sold as a pair- they are slightly different in form and motif.
Both pieces are hand-signed by Harry Whyte ‘HW’ on the base; Harry didn’t always sign his work believing the forms and motifs to be quite avant-garde and so instantly recognisable as his work. Certainly the organic forms of the vases were very contemporary for the 50s.
My collection contains a fair few Aboriginal motifs…once considered to be in very poor taste, these 50s pieces are old and retro enough to be viewed as kitsch through the ironic lens of post-modernism. Cultural appropriation ain’t what it used to be!
The pair of Australian pottery is very collectible, and is for sale: $AUD75