"My work is all meticulously hand built, using traditional ceramic techniques. Each piece is coil built, then the shape is refined before adding surface decorations of sprigged (press molded) ephemera or enamel decoration.
My inspiration comes from many and varied sources such as contemporary culture, traditional rhymes and folk and fairy tales and historical Art and Design styles.
My main inspiration however, is the long European tradition of appropriation and reinterpretation of exotic styles, such as the 18th Century obsession with Eastern motifs and Classical proportions culminating in Victorian design excess, where anything and everything goes."
The subjects for my work come from varied sources - contemporary culture, traditional children’s rhymes and folk tales. I’m fascinated by transformation tales and their imagery, from the traditional, up to the Power Rangers and contemporary kids cartoons.
The aesthetic inspiration is drawn largely from European Applied Art and Design styles from the 1600’s onwards. Underpinning this is the long European tradition of appropriation and reinterpretation or misinterpretation of “exotic” styles that can be seen in National Collections across Europe. I like the idea of getting it slightly wrong and the bluffing and “cobbling together” of styles that has produced some fantastic historical objects and continues most notably in the tradition of Outsider Art.
I started making sprigged vessels inspired by the salt glazed “bartmann” vessels, but with the look of tin glazed earthenware from the 1600’s. This evolved into the fully figurative vessels I’m making at present, starting with the bottle shaped mantua dresses. The figures often have interchangeable head “stoppers” to reflect the transformation of the subject and to allow a sense of play with the object.
My work has a very familiar feel to it due to the historical and literary references, even though it has it’s own very definite aesthetic. It is all meticulously hand built, using traditional ceramic techniques. Each piece is coil built, then the shape is refined before adding surface decorations of sprigged (press molded) ephemera and modern computer generated enamel decoration.
I graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1995 with a 1st in Fine Art Sculpture and gained a Post Graduate qualification in Museum Studies in 2000. Institutions I have worked for include Leighton House Museum, The British Library , London Transport Museum, The Wellcome Trust and notably, the V&A where I managed the installation of objects into the redeveloped British Galleries. During this time, I was privileged to experience so many beautiful objects first hand, to see how they were constructed and understand the making process in great detail. In 2003 I resumed my fine art practice. This time concentrating on ceramics, which I had loved at school, but now, unavoidably adding many different influences gained from a non-Craft education and a wealth of vocational experience working with National Collections.
BA Fine Art Sculpture (1st Class), Central St Martins, London 1995
ExhibitionsMy Blue China, curated by Laurent de Verneuil, Bernardaud Foundation, Limoges, France, Summer 2015
HEY! Act III, curated by Hey! Magazine, Halle Saint Pierre Museum, Paris, France, 2015 - 2016Artefacts, James Freeman Gallery, London 2015
SWEET 18, Kasteel D'Ursel, Antwerp, Belgium, May – July 2015
VOLTA Basel, Switzerland, 2015The Masque: Claire Partington, Paula Kane & Nicolas Freytag, James Freeman Gallery, London 2015 The Future Can Wait, London, 2014
Young Masters Art Prize 2014: Lloyds Club & Sphinx Fine Art, London, 2014
Pipe Dreams, James Freeman Gallery, London, 2013
Microtopia, Kingsgate Gallery, London 2013
In Dialogue with the Baroque, curated by Dr. Michaela Braesel, Schloß Schleißheim, Munich, Germany, 2013
The Islands Across the Sea, James Freeman Gallery, London, 2013
Young Masters Art Prize, London 2012
Contemporary Applied Arts, London, 2011, 2012
Voyages Extraordinaires, James Freeman Gallery, London 2011
Dynamic Array, James Freeman Gallery, London 2010
Young Masters, curated by Matthew Reeve, Truman Brewery, October 2010
Wunderkammer, James Freeman Gallery, London, 2009/10
AAF London, 2009, 2010
Five years, James Freeman Gallery, London 2008
Inspired By, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2007
Ceramics Review, September 2014
Hey Magazine #14, feature, June 2013
Art Circus Interview, February 2013
Garcia, E: Ceramics and the Human Figure, London: Bloomsbury, 2012
Juxtapoz Magazine, February 2011
Reydan Weiss, Essen
Charles Saumarez Smith, London
James & Maylis Grand, London
21C Museum, USA
Private collections worldwide