Grainne is new to Bevere. She has an established reputation in Ireland where she lives and works. Her vessels are stunningly original; few would fail to be bowled over by the beauty and elegance of every one of her fine pieces.
In recent years, her work has developed into specific themes that explore and expand through limited edition series. There are unifying sources of inspiration that run through each body of work. Many of these influences relate to colour, pattern and the visual and tactile marks evident in nature. Sheworks with porcelain and stoneware clays and uses layers of vibrant under-glazes and slips to create interesting surface detail.
Her ceramics are admired for the self-evident skills which she has and the immaculate quality of her decoration. Colour makes an impact of course, but the use of unusual colour contrast makes it special.
She graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 1982. She subsequently undertook an apprenticeship with Geoffrey Healy Pottery in Wicklow. She continues to live and work in County Wicklow. It is perhaps a mark of her excellence that in most years she receives awards - one recently from California.
She has exhibited widely across Europe and her pieces are to be found in collections worldwide. It is a great privilege to be able to feature her at Bevere Gallery for the first time.
Our featured maker in October is John Wheeldon and we are delighted to say that plans are well ahead to bring you our Annual Graduate Show in January 2021 with a special Summer Show displaying the diversity of studio ceramics across June and July, followed by our first original prints show
Under Pressure - Created by Hand, Made by Hand currently scheduled for September.
August brings a high summer treat with the work of Akiko Hirai. Undoubtedly Akiko's work exudes her Japanese heritage, however we know from the considerable sales of her work over past years, that it is the bringing together of tradition with a contemporary perspective that is so appealing. Her work is distinctly Hirai and immediately recognisable.
Born and educated in Japan, Akiko came to England in 2000 to undertake a BA (Hons) in Ceramics at Harrow and in her third year transferred to Central Saint Martins where she completed a BA(Hons ) in Ceramic Design in 2003. She joined The Chocolate Factory Studio on leaving college and up until 2015 she has been a Lecturer / Ceramic Technician and Head of Ceramics at Kensington and Chelsea College. Importantly for UK ceramic enthusiasts she chose to live and work in the UK.
We have always emphasised as a Gallery the importance of an original voice. It is evident that notwithstanding her past influences, we now see ceramics that are distinctly hers. It is always stimulating to see the combination of clay, texture and design skills. Akiko demonstrates that texturing of pots is as effective as colour in enhancing the profile and a presence of each vessel.
Conversations with The Curator....
an hour chatting about all things ceramics with our Ceramics Curator Stuart Dickens. Learn more about ceramics in general, why we choose certain makers and what we admire about the work on show.
Two persons maximum, no charge but booking essential, Noon each Wednesday includes complimentary coffee and cake.
☎️01905 754 484 for further information or to book your conversation.
What a pleasure to be able to announce that we can see our gallery visitors in person again. There has been a restructuring of the Gallery to accommodate the Covid - 19 regulations, including the conversion of the cafe area into an Original Prints gallery representing over thirty artists. Incidentally, it is still possible to purchase drinks and cakes to take away.
The Ceramics Gallery now displays work by over seventy makers and the layout includes additional box units, replacing some of the plinths which occupied too much space and limited our commitment to diversity. I am delighted with the outcome as the units frame so many splendid pieces of contemporary ceramics and allow for their individual voice to be expressed.
During this month, we hope you will come and renew your relationship with the Gallery or visit us for the first time – either way we know that you will enjoy the range and rich diversity of the work on display.
Inevitably, we have had to review the Featured Maker Programme for this year and for the upcoming three months we are delighted to welcome three fine ceramicists.
In July, Sutton Taylor will be showing his latest work. An established and respected maker with considerable decorating skills, we know that his fine pieces will be much admired. For me it is the subtlety and colour combination of his glazing that is particularly attractive and needless to say each pot has considerable presence.
August brings a high summer treat with the work of Akiko Hirai. Undoubtedly Akiko's work exudes her Japanese heritage, however we know from the considerable sales of her work over past years, that it is the bringing together of tradition with the contemporary perspective that is so appealing. Her work is distinctly Hirai and immediately recognisable. It is a joy to have her back at Bevere again.
Sutton and Akiko have shown here before but our featured maker in September will be here for the first time. Grainne Watts lives and works in Co. Tipperary. I first saw her work at Ceramic Art London and was immediately struck by the vivid colouring of her finely crafted vessels and meticulous detailing. Again, we have a maker with such a distinct voice that, once seen, will always be remembered. Her work will add something special and we are privileged to be showing her exquisite work at Bevere .
Hopefully, this restart of our programme will stimulate your interest and along with the significant number of other makers we have in the Gallery at any one time make your visit enjoyable and worthwhile.
month I welcomed a maker new to Bevere Gallery - Sharon Griffin - and this
month we are delighted to have yet another fine maker who is new to this
Gallery – Ruth Gibson, who we were pleased to invite to join us for our
Makers Lunch. Her impressively constructed and decorated work undoubtedly helps
to maintain Bevere's reputation for diversity, originality and quality
is an experienced and skilled maker in porcelain, combining
a love of photography, printmaking and ceramics, to evoke a sense of place; in
particular the Shropshire landscape, Welsh coast and mountains. She
certainly does just that and her imagery and the overall design of her work is
first saw her pieces at the Oxford Ceramic Fair last year and her distinctive
black on white decoration immediately drew me in. Once again, we are seeing the
two major elements in art and craft – undoubted quality and skill combined with
an original voice.
gave many insights during the two hours spent talking with her about the way
her creativity has developed over her years as an artist maker and the constant
desire to take her work forward. Apart from the work on display in the Gallery,
Ruth also produces large outdoor pieces- mostly on commission – and her enthusiasm for the grand scale was self
her black on white – often porcelain produces striking- indeed memorable – pieces. Her
description of the way in which screen printing – one her major techniques –
has to be approached to avoid spoilt outcomes made it clear that printing was
no straightforward decorative choice.
became increasingly evident during our time with her that her creative energy
demanded the range of skills which she has in photography printmaking and
working with clay in different modes.
significant number of her pieces are mounted and everyone acknowledged that her
landscapes particularly involving winter trees, which she loves and swooping
murmurations of birds benefited from the perspectives gained from wall hanging.
Having said that her bowls and platters demanded to be picked up and studied at
black and white dominates it also emerged that Ruth has a strong desire to use
colour – albeit sensitively to enhance her imagery. Whatever direction her work
takes, we were left in no doubt that the distinctive Ruth Gibson voice will
you Ruth for a stimulating and enjoyable event.
our traditional opening of the year with the Annual Graduate Show- which was very well received – it is
now time to start the featured maker calendar for 2020.
delighted that we have Sharon Griffin opening the programme. She is
one of a number of first time makers joining us at Bevere during this year. She
is a skilled sculptural ceramicist primarily of the human form. She
particularly seeks an underlying narrative so that one or more aspects of our
lives will be evident in this remarkable work. We are also very pleased that
she will be joining us for a Maker's Lunch when we can explore her inspiration
and making processes. We have been particularly impressed with her distinctive
approach and the quality of her work. Looking forward to seeing her exceptional
pieces in the gallery.
Barber will be known to many of our visitors. She has shown her fine raku
black and white pieces at Bevere before. She has been developing her work over
the last year and we look forward to seeing the direction she is taking,
however, we know that Debbie's recognisable voice will be sustained. We are
particularly pleased that we will be setting her work alongside Sharon's
sculpture – the contrast will lift the spirits I am sure.
Graduate Show dominated the main Gallery space during January and now we will
be reintroducing the wide range of ceramicists that we show here at Bevere.
There will always be something new for you to see here.
The Featured Maker programme this month involves a long standing friend of Bevere, who has exhibited here since winning the Bevere Graduate Show some years ago now and a new comer to Bevere, who has already made an impact on the ceramic sector with original work beautifully and imaginatively decorated.
Ruth Gibson is the maker new to Bevere. She is an experienced and skilled maker in porcelain, combining a love of photography, printmaking and ceramics, to evoke a sense of place; in particular the Shropshire landscape, Welsh coast and mountains. She certainly does just that and her imagery and the overall design of her work is striking.
I first saw her pieces at the Oxford Ceramic Fair last year and her distinctive black on white decoration immediately drew me in. Once again, we are seeing the two major elements in art and craft – undoubted quality and skill combined with an original voice – establishing a maker as one to watch and in our case one to Feature at Bevere. She also talks articulately about her creativity and she will be featuring in our Makers Lunch on 14 March
Christopher Taylor is an old friend of Bevere Gallery and we delighted to be featuring his work here again. The combination of traditional and contemporary decorative technique has always been a feature of his work and it will be interesting to see whether this remains a key element of his decoration. He has been working on developing his decorative style and we anticipate seeing some exciting new pieces.
Christopher was another successful Graduate Show exhibitor and we know from that time he has always had an impact on our visitors. The design and shaping of his pieces has always been interesting and his unusual colour combinations and patterning make his work immediately identifiable and has clearly contributed to the selling of his fine work.
This years ceramic programme is already generating considerable interest and positive responses. I hope that the ongoing selection of featured makers throughout the year will maintain that enthusiasm.
13th Annual Graduate Show Winner
Upcoming Featured Makers’ Lunches
Saturday 4 April - Chris Carter
Saturday 2 May - Wendy Lawrence
Tickets cost £15 per person and include a discussion in the gallery around the Makers’ new work followed by a private lunch and further discussions in
was the first of our Makers Lunches in 2020. I was delighted that Sharon
Griffin agreed to open this year's programme. She is one of a number
of makers showing at Bevere this year.
immediately taken with her work when I saw it for the first time at Oxford
Ceramic Fair in 2019. Self-evidently she is a skilled sculptural ceramicist,
primarily of the human form. She particularly seeks an underlying narrative so
that one or more aspects of our lives will be evident in this remarkable work.
I have already discovered that the more time I spend with Sharon's work the
more I see in every piece. Like all work of this kind it benefits from simply
has a background in fine art and for a number of years she painted
prolifically. She brought along prints and books which illustrated her
considerable talent … although she now focuses exclusively on her ceramic
on during our time together, she gave a frank and open insight into her
extraordinary early life involving considerable family trauma. We were all left
with admiration at the way her innate talent had broken through and her
artistic ambition had overcome many personal difficulties.
is her canvas now and interestingly there is a sense with most of her work that
she is sketching in clay – this is why looking closely at individual pieces is
so revealing. She is currently thinking about making larger work and also
working in bronze – a material which she admires. She spent time discussing her
approach to clay and the use of different clays for her pieces including
porcelain, which is of course not easy to work with although the outcome is
has lived in Telford all her life and she is clearly influenced by the
communities that surround her, whether they be rural or industrial particularly
the heritage of places like Ironbridge. Sharon is highly sensitive to her
environment and is a close observer of people. All of this and her life to date
have contributed significantly to her inspirational work.