Friday, 10 April 2009
Saturday 4th – Sunday 26th April
An exhibition of ceramics, bronze and paintings
Frank and Janet Hamer Jane and Ted Hamlyn
Nigel and Libby Edmondson Alasdair and Sally MacDonell
David and Margaret Frith John and Jude Jelfs
Claire Harrison and Petr Horacek
Stuart Dickens Ceramics Curator for The Gallery says, ‘Here is a show, which provides an opportunity to reflect on the individual voice of artist and craftsman and the mutuality and synergy that comes from years of shared work and life.’
This exhibition was created from an initial thought about artists and makers who have shared their lives and their studios over many years. Whilst partners inevitably share common interests, this show is designed to demonstrate how their individual personalities are reflected in their work.
Frank and Janet Hamer have become something of a legend in studio ceramics through their joint authorship of The Potter’s Dictionary of Materials and Techniques, which explains the sources and character of materials, the behaviour of clays and glaze minerals during the forming and firing processes, They share a workshop and kiln in rural Wales and both are clearly influenced by the surrounding countryside and wildlife.
Jane and Ted Hamlyn will rarely, if ever, have been seen in the same show – other than their Open Studio days. Ted’s paintings are a perfect backdrop for Jane’s immediately recognisable vessels. Jane Hamlyn’s work has been regularly shown at the gallery since she featured in the Gallery’s opening show in May 2006. There is a palpable synergy between Jane and Ted’s work, which is evident in both texture and palette.
Nigel and Libby Edmondson have been seen regularly sharing a pitch at Hatfield or Oxford Ceramics, however Libby’s paintings, which are now the main focus for her creative energy, have been seen less frequently alongside Nigel’s pots. Again, their work sits well with each other and the strong brushwork and striking colour of the paintings is a perfect foil for the earth tones of Nigel’s pots.
Alasdair and Sally MacDonell are seen together at all the major shows. There is a strong interpersonal dynamic here; both use the human form to great effect and both are clearly strongly influenced by tribal art and a world view of art and sculpture.
David and Margaret Frith – the Friths, as they are often jointly referred to – are two of the most respected potters in the UK. They are nearly always seen together and whilst this exhibition is doing nothing new in that respect, there is an opportunity to reflect on the influence of each upon the other. Their individual work is different and both are great craftsmen in their own right.
John and Jude Jelfs is another of the classic partnerships in studio pottery. Their work is starkly different and as Jude herself has said John can get very dirty indeed when he is working whilst she needs an immaculately clean studio. Jude has focussed on bronze over the last year or two and this is producing imaginative and quirky small-scale pieces. In the meantime, John the master craftsman – get him talking about teapot making – continues to produce some of the most luminous pots in the stoneware tradition in the UK.
Claire Harrison and Petr Horacek
In 1989 Claire walked into a studio in Prague Academy, as part of her studies in fine art and drawing, and met Petr, they have shared a studio ever since! Now with their two daughters too. Petr is an Award winning children’s’ author and illustrator and Claire a teacher in local Worcester schools, this exhibition brings together a selection of new work from the couple, Claire’s abstracted garden scenes and Petr’s exciting contemporary abstracts his alter ego to his children’s illustrative work