Dear Staff and Students
We are deeply saddened by the death of world-renowned ceramicist and Associate Professor in UKZN’s Centre for Visual Art on the Pietermaritzburg campus, Juliet Armstrong, died peacefully on August 22 following a serious illness. Juliet is well known for her work in bone china, which she started in 1977. For many years she was the only artist in South Africa working in this medium. Examples of her work, for which she won numerous national awards, are on permanent exhibition in many of the prominent galleries around the country. Juliet was also instrumental in one of UKZN’s recent research breakthroughs, “Making stronger, whiter bone china without bone”.
Juliet Yvonne Armstrong was born in Durban on February 8 1950 and matriculated at St John’s DSG. She obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from the former University of Natal in 1972 and 1981, respectively. From 1973-1974, Juliet
studied industrial ceramics and glass blowing at the Leicester Polytechnic in England and attained a postgraduate diploma.
After working as a governess in Germany and travelling across America, Juliet returned to South Africa and took up a lecturing post at the former University of Natal on the Pietermaritzburg campus. In 1986 she became a Senior Lecturer, a position she held until 1999 when she was promoted to Associate Professor. On several occasions during the 1990s Juliet held the position of Acting Head of the Department of Fine Art and History of Art.
A passion for empowering the women of South Africa, Juliet, along with fellow academic, Professor Ian Calder, was instrumental in setting up a community engagement programme that has benefited women who create ceramic pots in the KwaMagwaza village, near Kranskop in KZN. Juliet established contact with galleries around South Africa and abroad for this Zulu pottery to be displayed and traded. Juliet was a long-standing member of the Black Sash organisation and volunteered at its Pietermaritzburg office since 1975.
According to her husband, Mike Hart: ‘Juliet would require you at the earliest opportunity to cook your favourite food, get out your best wine, listen to some music and celebrate a life lived fully and lived well.’
A celebratory wake as a tribute to Professor Juliet Armstrong will take place in her beloved garden at 40 Ridge Road, Scottsville on Sunday 2 September at 12:30 for 13:00. This will take the form of a good meal with wine and song, tributes and memories…
For catering purposes, please RSVP by Thursday 30 August to email@example.com.
On behalf of Executive Management I wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to her husband, children and friends. She will be sorely missed.