Usually within our exhibitions, we start with a theme to explore - an idea or influence that draws the work together and gives you an immediate starting view point, particularly with our ceramics to help to see the work as more than just ‘pots’. For our current show ‘Gradual’, the focus is on recent graduates, artists that we couldn’t help but get excited about after seeing their degree shows this year.
However, maybe it’s just the way we look at things now, stepping back again a theme of layering can’t help but be seen recurring through our six chosen artist’s work - whether it’s in collecting materials to add into the work, influences from the natural building processes within geology or blocking together clay or wool or glazes or images (or in Francisco Rodriguez's case often his own paintings).
This show has been a lot of fun to put together in exploring the degree shows and just letting ourselves enjoy thing that stand out, no theme except that they’re graduates, no other requirements just what we enjoy. Yet, stepping back, we can see what we’ve been drawn to is actually what we’re always drawn to - the fascination in why artists choose the medium they do and how that material adds to their art. And maybe that’s why it’s such a mix of mediums, including our first glass and needlepoint work.
There’s such a freedom in art now, with so many different medium finally being seen for the art forms that they are. I guess stepping back and looking at this show, it made me think of my scribbled notes about the gallery when initial plans were coming together this time last year and the word ‘process’ sparked a flood of ideas.
We specialise in ceramics however never aiming to become a ceramics gallery, this specialism came from this excitement of artist’s processes, how and why they connect with the medium of their choice, with clay being such a prime example of this.
This show, we hope, shows that we are not choosing our artists just because they use the medium that they do but because of what they’re doing with it.
Post Image: Gallery interior with 'Ground' bowl and 'Dug' and 'Cut' vases by Simon Kidd (foreground and background), paintings by Francisco Rodriguez (left), ceramic and glass sculptures by Clare Flatley (middle), slip-cast and vibrated vases by BTM Ceramics (in window) and a ceramic plaque by Judy McKenzie (window right), all part of our exhibition 'Gradual' (5th - 17th October 2018)