Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Patrick KIng's Inspiration Behind His Pottery

I met Patrick King at the launch of the Print and Clay Exhibition at the beginning of October and he promised to tell me what his inspiration was behind his ceramics.   I am sure the following will be of great interest:

"I have long been interested in the historical/archaeological importance of 'printed' ceramics, on which painted, inscribed or printed images provide lasting information about the past.  In contrast to our current archives on fibre and digital media, printed ceramic shards have an incomparably long life and may one day again be the only record or our existence.

If this should ever be the case, it is important that they reflect both the positive and negative aspects of human behavour. Pastoral scenes, smiling grandchildren, garden flowers, poems and other assorted kitsch abound on holiday souvenirs and even on the work of serious potters.  I deal with the darker details of war,  greed,  deprivation and hypocrisy.

Using a range of making techniques,  I have tried to combine the properties of the clay, aesthetics and political content into objects with every day forms but without a domestic function - other than a wake-up call!

Technical note:  text was applied to the work illustrated by a reverse lithography monoprinting technique that I developed based on photocopies.

Comments on the pieces we have in the exhibition at The Gallery at Bevere

At the End of the Rainbow

A collection (originally) 10 lidded boxes thrown in stoneware and decorated with scraps of newsprint applied by reverse litho over coloured slips. The tall-extruded handles are covered with gold leaf.
Based on the fairytale of gnomes burying pots of gold at the end of the rainbow, the work depicts the pots as they might be.---- The text in the several languages illustrates the endless discussion about ownership of the  "NAZI GOLD" deposited in the banks around the world, represented by the pompous golden handles that resemble the portal of a bank. In analogy to walking to the end of the rainbow, a combination of invested interests and racial tension has to this day made a just solution impossible.

Further comments on a past projects:- 


A tryptych of large (56cm diam) platters, with text printed by reverse lytho technique, broken raku fired, and reassembled.  Usually wall mounted.  The work reflects the 'domestic' violence of civil war, the destruction not only of physical environment but also a communication of the truth. A ray of hope is shown by the reconstruction of a scarred but partially functioning form.

Männer töten (Men kill)

A series of 5 large (56 cm diam.) platters with text printed by reverse litho, broken, raku fired, and reassembled. They are usually exhibited in a row mounted on a wall.

This work expresses in a completely unsubtle way the (my) opinion that men are responsible for all the violence in the world, at all levels of society from state-sponsered slaughter to kitchen conflicts. The message is amplified across the series to a cry (of despair) as the text and the destruction grows. The final platter is (almost) beyond repair. The title loses some impact when translated into English because in the German phrase men are at the same time the subject and the object of the verb to kill.

1. Graben (Dig)

I have also been known to engage it more “lighthearted” projects. For example, for an outdoor exhibition I once made four large bowls (1 metre diameter) printed with images of our present day relationship to water – for hygiene, fishing, sport etc. I broke them, prepared the pieces to look as though they had been buried for 500 years, re-assembled three of the bowls as museum pieces and buried the fourth bowl in the ground. The fourth bowl was then excavated piece by piece as a performance over one weekend. The story line was that the excavation was taking place 500 years from now when clean water (and fish) will certainly be in short supply.

2.  Roman bath

With reference to the Roman villa and well-preserved bath that was excavated from under the floor of our present studio, with a wonderful mosaic depicting the god Oceanus, I and my two studio colleagues each cast a large bowl in polyester on the theme of “ocean”. My piece was meant to represent the ripples in the sand of the seabed brought about by waves and currents.

 The Other Side of the Coin

A series of hemispherical bowls 40 cm diam., consisting of 6 pieces in the raku version and 2 in the stoneware version. The raku bowls are partly destroyed and reassembled. The stoneware bowls are intact.

The idea makes use of the two surfaces of a vessel, inside and outside, to illustrate the concept referred to as “the other side of the coin” (German “Kehrseite). Each bowl examines two ways of looking at a particular topic, which could also be called “the good news” (on the inside) and “the bad news” (on the outside). For example, on the stoneware bowl illustrated (“A world of difference”), the inside of the bowl is plastered with snippets from holiday catalogues describing the white sands, blue skies, cheap food and smiling natives that the tourist selectively sees. The outside surface of the bowl is printed with fragments of newsprint that describe the real-life social and political situation of many tourist destinations. Because the bad news is anyway filtered out by the public, the text on the outside of the bowl is printed as an unreadable mirror-image. Exhibition of the bowls on mirrors can be looked upon as a protest.

Jo Lee - Multi media artist

Jo Lee first appeared in one of our Graduate Shows. Even then, it was easy to see that she was a talented and mature artist

Her latest work is on show  during October in the Print and Clay Exhibition   Core to her work is a fascination with the human form and the human condition. Jo’s work is influenced by ordinary day-to-day events, life, living and ultimately our demise and is interested by the ways in which a person’s life can be acknowledged and validated.

Graduating in 2007 with a first Class Honours Degree in Ceramics Jo’s work has diversified to encompass mixed media including drawing, painting, photography, sometimes combining these in performance art, public installations, workshops in drawing, workshops in casting, working with people of all ages, from 1 month to 100.

Jo’s new ceramic work shown here at The Gallery at Bevere incorporates photography and digital manipulation along with slip cast porcelain forms creating unique characters belonging to the world of Joville.

Babushka meets Mr Potato Head meets Fuzzy Felt … welcome to the world of Joville.

Saturday, 10 October 2009


Exhibition of ceramics and original prints

This exhibition brings together master print makers and ceramicists for whom print is the dominant decorative medium

The Gallery at Bevere prides itself on the quality and diversity of its exhibitions. This one is no exception and we hope that bringing these artists and ceramicists together will promote greater understanding of the technical processes and possibilities.

Ceramicists – David Rhys Jones, Annabel Farraday, Joanna Veevers, Jo Lee, Fiona Thompson, Patrick King, Paul Scott

PrintmakersAnja Percival, Sarah Ross Thompson, John Duffin, Vicky Shaw

Print and Clay seem to have been partners for a long time. We are all familiar with the transfer printed pottery of the 19th Century and indeed our everyday drinking mugs are often printed with logos, images or aphorisms. We think nothing of it, we take for granted that this is easy to achieve and that the technology is now a routine aspect of ceramic design and production.

What is less well known is that the processes involved in transferring print to clay are many and varied and we are often left open-mouthed as we wonder - ‘How did they do that?’ This exhibition has been put together to demonstrate how the studio potter is at the forefront of innovation and creative thinking to make their vessels and objects beautiful, evocative, provocative, sometimes political and most importantly difficult to ignore.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Solo Exhibition - Beth Fletcher

We regularly show Beth's landsape paintings in the gallery and The Gallery at Bevere is delighted that she now has a solo exhibition in the "New Space" throughout October

Beth says-

“Even after graduating with an MA in Fine Art five years ago I was sceptical about whether I’d be able to make a living doing what I love, but since then I’ve been painting almost every day. It’s still interesting to see people’s reactions when they ask what job I do and I tell them I’m an artist...I had no idea of some of the assumptions most people make about artists! Every day in the studio is different. Once I’ve put on my working clothes, turned on the radiators, made a cup of coffee and switched on the radio, the rest of the day is unpredictable. There could be framing or preparation jobs to do, I could be in the middle of a painting or I might spend the day doodling and developing ideas. Sometimes I need to just sit and daydream!

I find that my working process is like a staircase: ideas inform formal issues of colour, texture and composition, and then experimenting with these things goes on to generate more ideas for work, and so on. As time passes, I find more and more things can provoke new ideas – a simple thing like a colour combination I have seen somewhere will ring bells in my memory, a poem or a piece of music will evoke aspects of landscape. Paintings tend to be mostly unplanned – I start with a feeling of what I would like to express, but each mark I make will dictate every mark that is to come so that the painting builds and changes as it progresses.

Though I make drawings and sometimes prints, my abiding love affair is with oil paint. Oils have a particular language which responds very well to landscape painting; they are very physical, very malleable, and capable of conveying subtly varied moods. They have an inherent depth, and a way of moving and behaving on the canvas that mimics the movement of tide, wind or light and shade across the land. These intangible, fluctuating things are the true subject of my work – the things that, for me, are the voice and lifeblood of landscape and speak straight to the heart.

Though trying to communicate the experiential effects of landscape through a visual medium may seem ironic, it has a long history in landscape painting…the Sublime, the Romantic, the ‘glimpse beyond the veil’. Without being sentimental, I try to capture the feeling of being in the landscape as much as the physical characteristics of the landscape itself, which is why I don’t pay much attention to exact topographical detail, trying in fact to work from memory and sketches rather than from life or photographs. However, I can usually guarantee that at every private view someone will sidle up to me and ask ‘Yes, but where exactly is it?”

Friday, 2 October 2009

POT OF THE MONTH - October 2009


Stuart Dickens our Ceramic Curator says-

"It is unusual for us to select a pot which has just been seen in a Gallery at Bevere exhibition. However, the work of Thomas Hoadley is so exceptional that choosing another pot this month would have proved difficult.

What makes Thomas’s work so exceptional?

Firstly, his pots demand the highest level of craft and skill. He is a master of the nerikomi technique. Slabs of clay are mixed with stains and oxides, stacked, folded, pressed into logs, sliced, and arranged in moulds to form a vessel. In this way, the numerous stacked layers appear as fine undulating lines embedded in a surrounding colour in the finished vessel. It is even more remarkable that the juxtaposed slabs show no sign of pressure in the bonding and the integrity of the pattern and colour is maintained. His use of porcelain seems just right for these opulent vessels.

Secondly, each pot has a seductive aesthetic appeal. They are elegant, have striking colour contrasts, strong organic shapes and a timeless quality which will always ensure their contemporaneity.

If there is an Antiques Roadshow in 100 years time – "and there probably will be - this is the kind of work we would expect to see there.