These handbuilt ceramic vessels explore surface decoration where panels of clay are treated with layers of coloured slip to achieve the desired depth of surface. My soft colour palette draws inspiration from the clouds and landscape; the surfaces hold similarities to misty skies, memories of a walk, or a view across the sea.
Walking and painting both play a big part in my process - in particular, I regularly return to walk areas of Cornwall and Devon as well as the Lake District. This informs the ceramic work as well as the rich sketchbooks I paint in along the way. Returning to the studio, I am able to paint on a larger scale and also translate this into 3D pieces. This is an ongoing investigation for me; the walking, the painting, the pots..... Though not always in that order; sometimes I can create a whole body of work in relation to one view or one painting; they become constant influences. Equally there is not one painting that relates to one pot; rather that they all inform one another. The ceramic investigations are often abstracted from the walk / painting - they are memories, they are an interpretation rather than a representation.
Exploration of shape starts off with the traditional vessel yet my construction techniques stem from the notion of repair and assemblage. 18th century tea caddies for example, have influenced the inclusion of an oval form to my collection; and there have been many other references along the way which also continue to be of importance such as dressmaking patterns and text; maps and boats. These become more prevalent from time to time, and as each piece is individual, the process of building up the surface varies accordingly.
Over the years the shapes evolve, building on what came before and reaching for a pleasing aesthetic and balance. This results in multi-faceted pieces which sit as happily and harmoniously on their own as they do in a group or collection.
My work has been described as exuding calm and balance. Soft blue, green and greys predominate. Each piece continues to be individual and I approach it in this way. I find it is vital to have a conversation with each one, focussing my energy and concentration on one piece at a time. Reflecting and evaluating throughout. I talk to them - do you need a touch more white here, or perhaps a darker section/strip there? And so, each piece is an interpretation of an earlier impression or experience. A painting in clay.
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1st - 30th July 2016
In Search of Cornish Light
David Simon Contemporary, 4 Bartlett Street, Bath, BA1 2QZ
I am delighted to be returning to Bath in the summer, where I will be showing some of my new pieces alongside some fabulous painters, who also use the English landscape and coastline as a reference point for their work.
Exhibiting artists: Julia Cooper, Lynne Cartlidge, Myles Oxenford, Michael Rees, with ceramics by Emily-Kriste Wilcox