Wednesday, 29 October 2014


THE CURATOR’S VIEW – November/December 2014
We are fast approaching that time of year – I am reluctant to use the C word when as I write this it is not yet November - nevertheless we want to ensure that the gallery remains a vibrant and exciting showcase of some of the best in studio ceramics. I am particularly delighted that we are showing the work of Ruth King for the first time.
 On the face of it Ruth slab builds, shapes and alters clay to form her shapes of apparent simplicity. However, there is nothing simple about them at all. The shapes are almost a sideways glance at the conventional. They have presence and demand to be looked at more closely. I like these pots because they have such a distinct voice. Ruth’s way of visualising her vessels is unique and genuinely combines high level craft skills with a strong contemporary look. If you haven’t seen Ruth’s work before then be prepared for a pleasant surprise.
Clare Conrad has not shown with us for some time. Here again is a maker with a distinct look. The surface textures are remarkable -
redolent of earthen landscapes viewed from a satellite. The shapes of her vessels are simple to ensure that maximum exposure and emphasis is given to their tactile surfaces.

There was no eureka moment here, what we see is the product of an artist’s vision which has taken time to mature and realise.
Annabel Faraday
 is one of the most able practitioners of print on clay. The group of pieces, which we have this month, are some of the best I have seen.  The subtle use of colour, the choice of images and the spirit of place which she gives to each vessel is a joy. She will be showing again next year and we hope to have work from her which portrays the city of Worcester and environs with the same characteristics.

Ostinelli and Priest
are amongst the most talented of ceramic sculptors. The quality of the modelling is of the highest order and somehow they manage to capture the very essence of the animals which they represent. However it is more than just about modelling skills – what we see is humour and the ability to give personality to each piece. For me it is the eyes which are so expressive. People will have different perspectives on their work but for sure they cannot be ignored and we hope that visitors will be as stimulated by them as we were when we first opened the boxes and removed the wrapping. Sometimes it feels like C……..s even when it’s not.
We will also have new pieces from Matthew Blakely,
Christine Gittins and
 Richard Heeley
and who knows one or two more surprises before we get to Christmas – there I’ve said it.

Stuart Dickens 


Wednesday, 1 October 2014


The history of ceramics is one inextricably linked to functional use as is evidenced by archaeological finds dating back several thousand years. However, tableware remains an important feature of the daily rituals of eating and drinking today and many will say that food is enhanced by the beauty of the pots on the table.  This month’s tableware feature is a reminder – as if we needed it - that there is as much character and inherent beauty in a well-crafted functional vessel as there is in so-called decorative ceramics. The September /October transition is often tricky and we have some delays in sending work – however the five makers who are part of this month’s feature clearly demonstrate the truth of the notion that ceramics is indeed clothes for food.
Two of the five have shown with us before. The oriental inspired work of Kaori Tatebayashi

  has always generated interest and her admirers will not be disappointed in the group that she has put together. It is recognisably Kaori’s work but she continues to develop her range and I particularly like her scalloped bowls.

 Kochevet (Kookie) Bendavid
has also shown here before - although some years ago – and I am delighted to be reminded of the grace and elegance that she brings to her bowls and dishes. Whilst they may be seen as ‘special occasion’ vessels, they will bring a luxuriant elegance to the most mundane of meals.

As for the three new exhibitors, they bring a diversity which we always look for in group features.

 Stuart Carey is making a name for himself with his finely crafted tableware and what appeals to me is the simplicity of design and the throwing skills which he demonstrates in every piece. His use of semi porcelain and subtle monochrome glazes enhances the appeal of these finely crafted pieces. Once again, it is the notion of the potter’s hand on every vessel that sets each piece apart. 

Louisa Taylor
is another new face at the gallery this month. In her own words she makes vessels for sharing and relaxed eating. We see here the notion of eating and ritual; ceramics which enhance such an important aspect of our daily lives.

 Sue Binns is well known to many but has not been at Bevere before. Her strongly decorated work will grace any table and once again provides a contrast to the more subtle decoration of Carey, Tatebayashi and Bendavid.

I hope that – like me - your will be stimulated by the work of five of the most stimulating makers of functional ware today.
If you have read the latest edition of Ceramic Review you will know that Christopher Taylor
is also due to exhibit with us from the 16 October. The article which I commend to you says much about Chris’s work and his approach which has developed since he undertook an MA at the RCA. I know that the coming together of the traditional with the contemporary is something of a cliché but Christopher Taylor clearly has brought them together in a way which makes his work so attractive to many – even those who say . . I don’t normally like this kind of work but . . . I have been an admirer of his pots since he was voted into first place in our Annual Graduate Show some three years ago. He has come some way since then and his work is much in demand. 

Stuart Dickens