INSPIRING: Popular Lismore ceramicist and oncology nurse Michael Hallam, who passed away recently of pancreatic cancer.
INSPIRING: Popular Lismore ceramicist and oncology nurse Michael Hallam, who passed away recently of pancreatic cancer. Paula Hallam

Ceramicist leaves his mark

A POPULAR Lismore oncology nurse and ceramicist will have his first solo exhibition at The Channon Gallery next Friday, following his death from pancreatic cancer.

A Permanent Mark will showcase the porcelain work of Michael Hallam, who died August 8, aged 52.

Remembering Michael

Michael chose not to have a funeral, so a Remembering Michael service, including poems, music, dancing and readings, will also be held.

Michael's widow, Paula Hallam, who was married to Michael for 28 years, said friends and family could pay tribute to her much-loved husband while enjoying his favourite food and drinks - including his famous brownies.

"I've been astounded at the number of people who've come up to me since he died to say they knew him, how much they liked him and the positive influence he had on them," she said.

Shared his knowledge

"Some artists keep all their secrets to themselves and don't give away top tips. Michael was the antithesis of that and would gladly share his knowledge and expertise."

Paula said it was moving for her to know how her husband had improved other people's lives.

"People live on in the impacts they've had on other people. That's why I chose to call the exhibition A Permanent Mark, which was suggested by one of his fellow potters."

The couple moved to the Northern Rivers in 2009 and Michael became immersed in his ceramics, passing on skills to fellow students at Southern Cross University.

His first love

Michael first learned the art of pottery in the 1980s and took to it straight away.

Some of the late Michael Hallam's ceramics work.
Some of the late Michael Hallam's ceramics work. Contributed

"Ceramics remained his first love," Paula said.

"Michael has had joint exhibitions in the past, but this will be his first, and last, solo exhibition.

"He was the nurse unit manager for the North Coast Cancer Institute at Lismore Base Hospital, which was ironic as he ended up dying of cancer.

"He was treated in the department he set up."

Paula said Michael did not want a funeral as he was "the most laidback, easygoing person" and simply wanted to be cremated.

She said Michael knew funerals were sad and focused on what was lost.

"And he knew if time passes, you can celebrate their life instead of mourning their death."

Paula thanked The Channon Gallery for its constant support.

"Michael had work there when he was alive and it was the obvious place to go because they've been so supportive of Michael and other local artists," she said.

"They do an incredible job."

Michael Hallam's work will be for sale on the day.

Exhibition details

Exhibition/service for Michael Hallam.

Channon Gallery, November 20, 4pm.

Display ends November 22.

RSVP: paula jhallam@gmail.com.



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