Female artists explore the sensuality of ceramics


Female artists explore the sensuality of ceramics in an exhibition in London

Artists such as Judy Chicago, Rose English and Jacqueline Poncelet present their ceramic works in “Born from Earth” at the Richard Saltoun Gallery

The materiality of ceramics is celebrated in an all-female exhibition recently opened at the Richard Saltoun Gallery in London. “Born from Earth” considers the role of women in discovering the potential of ceramics through a kaleidoscope of multidisciplinary works, weaving traditional motifs with modern and often playful references.

The bespoke exhibition design by architect Lisa Chan, founder of the creative studio It’s a Local Collective and tutor at the Architectural Association, draws connections between the 11 exhibiting contemporary artists and the visceral pull of the earth that defines the disciplines of art and architecture. Chan’s interactive display is encapsulated in an earthen landscape that traces a weaving route through the gallery. Crafted from natural earth and lime, it invites visitors to linger, placing the artwork within the undulations of its form.

Holly Stevenson, It unfolded before my eyes2021, sandstone © the artist

“There were some challenges with the concept, in terms of curating and coordinating where the eyes take you,” Chan says of the thinking behind the layout. “But in terms of expressing materiality, it was very fluid. We all share a love for the land and its rawness.

It is a love that connects the ceramic art of Jacqueline Poncelet, Carmen Dionyse, Ruth Duckworth, Carol McNicoll, Gaia Fugazza, Holly Stevenson, Florence Peake, Judy Chicago, Rose English, Lili Dujourie and Shelagh Wakely.

The interpretations are figurative, from Stevenson’s phallic geometric pieces contained in surreal containers, to the playful porcelain dancers of the English, who cut out colorful and sensual silhouettes. This provocation finds an echo in the curved and supernatural forms of Poncelet in clay, while Chicago Erotic cookies take a more playful perspective, a mischievous foil for the works of Dionysus, which subvert traditional patterns in glazed ceramic and stoneware.

Jacqueline Poncelet, Untitled1985 c., clay, engobe and glaze © the artist

“It’s a conversation that brings together artists from different generations, examining their response to the materiality of clay, so there are contemporary takes from Holly Stevenson, for example, who works with bold colors while believing in forms keys,” adds Chan. . “We wanted to bring out the unity of the rawness of working with clay, something that brings the benefit of the dialogue between art and architecture. In art, for me, there is always a fundamental element – if this work has triggered your feelings, or created some kind of connection or awareness in you, I know it is a work of art.

Chan was keen to incorporate his architectural background into the exhibition – which comes with a program of educational events in conjunction with the Architectural Association – making the space an inclusive and welcoming space for the local community. “Since the Covid, the shopping streets, which were already confronted with changing consumption patterns, are experiencing an identity crisis. Coming from a background in architecture and research, there is a lot of talk about how we can renew this definition.With the collaboration between the

and the Architectural Association, we wanted to see what sparks can happen. §

Judy Chicago, Six Erotic Cookies (in 10 parts)1967, signed, dated and titled on the drawings: 6 erotic cookies on an edible plate / Gerowitz ’67 signed with the artist’s initials and dated, ‘JG ’67’ (on the reverse of the ceramic elements). Sculpture: plastic bowl, glass and painted plaster. Two drawings: acrylic and ink on paper with wooden frame © the artist

Carol McNicoll, ceramics © the artist

Florence Peake, Fog holes for a spawn2022, glaze, nail polish and enamel on ceramic © the artist


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