Owning the title of artists
Updated: May 1, 2019
A year ago, I attended a talk by Grayson Perry at Ceramic Art London. As one of my all time favourite artists, it had been circled in my diary since it was announced and I sat in the auditorium for 45 minutes before it started just to make sure I definitely had a seat. He spoke about where ceramics are now within art, the boundaries that he had seen broken down in the span of his career as well as the many there still are to go. And in talking about this growing respect for ceramics as an art form, he made a point that stuck with me - that as much as we say that the art world should be paying us attention, we also must make sure that we are presenting ourselves in the right way to be seen, owning the title of artists. The gallery had opened just a few weeks before this and these words resonated so much with what I wanted it to become - presenting ceramics within a contemporary art environment and demonstrating it’s place. Sitting here amongst our current solo exhibition by Tom Kemp, I see this show as such a strong example of this. Tom is an artist who has been drawn to ceramics for the qualities that this medium has to add to his art - the large canvas filling one of our walls proving that he is not bound to a form. The impressive body of work that he has created for this show has so much consideration, depth and expression that there’s no argument here that this is anything but art.
Image above: Interior view of Tom Kemp's solo exhibition (1st - 23rd March 2019)