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Carter Preston Prize Exhibition

Carter Preston Prize Exhibition / Saturday 4th August 2018 - Saturday 22nd September 2018

This exhibition prize, held biennially in Liverpool, is in memory of the potter Julia Carter Preston. The competition is open to UK based artist designer makers in their first 5 years of graduating or completing their training. (Works featured must have been produced in the last 2 years.)

The shortlisted artists for the prize were selected has been made by an independent judging panel and include Elizabeth Ashdown, Tom Collison, Tessa Eastman, Joanna Hejmej, Irina Razumovskaya and Tara Squibb.

The 6 shortlisted makers will feature in an exhibition at Bluecoat Display Centre from 4th August – 22nd September 2018, with one selected to win a prize of £1,000 awarded by the selection panel at the private view on the 3rd August 2018. There will also be a People’s Prize Vote when visitors will be invited to select their winner during the exhibition to be announced on the final day of the show; Saturday 3rd August. This artist will win an In the Window solo exhibition opportunity in our 2019 series.

Julia Carter Preston (31.8.1926 – 6.1.2012) exhibited regularly at Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool’s leading contemporary craft gallery, and was also a studio neighbour. The annual exhibitions of her unique sgraffito ceramics with their beautiful lustre glazes drew large crowds of private collectors and her works were also purchased for public collections around the UK.

Julia was artist in residence at Hope University, Liverpool for the last 2 or 3 years of her life, this prize exhibition is a partnership between Hope University and Bluecoat Display Centre.

During her life, Julia always supported young artists, and would be delighted to know that a prize exhibition was being set up in her name, to accompany other opportunities for young and international artists, as a fitting legacy to a unique artist.

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In my practice I evade tacking any narrative to my work, letting myself work intuitively using my aesthetic preferences and tacit knowledge. In my work I animate minimalist constructivist architectural forms. I seek to avoid direct, narrow, or exact images or symbols. I base my artwork on poly-cultural signs, such as architectural details, everyday and ritual objects. I come to them through research on various cultures and always bear in mind their reflection on my own reality, my everyday life. This way every artwork has a personal meaning for me, but I prefer it to be a more ambiguous experience for the viewer, leaving open the possibility of variability in the interpretation of the work.

I create visions of ageing of the architecture, where every peeling layer of surface gives a context to a history and time. In order to do so I choose purely material language of ceramics, as possible behaviours of ceramic material are very diverse. For this reason, I avoid constructing narrative projections in my work, preferring to use laconic shapes and let the nature of the material itself create its own narrative and identity that the viewer unconsciously relates to.

My latest works were inspired by a wistful longing for the post-soviet times: the subtle dilapidation of stark unadorned constructivist forms which over time have become eased and animated by their peeling layers that resemble tree bark. These soviet structures once bold and futuristic and built with uncompromising visual grammar, have through neglect and decay become lyrical.

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Tara Squibb has lived on the Powis Castle estate for over 20 years, an idyllic, quite remote location in the heart of Wales. Tara is inspired and influenced by the surrounding landscapes, nature and the constantly changing seasons and weather conditions, where she continually finds inspiration for form, texture and colour. You can go out and look at exactly the same view 7 days a week, but each time it will be very different according to the weather and light conditions.

Her current range of work is inspired by an interest in geology and sedimentary erosion, aiming to capture a snapshot of seeming movement that has been created by the forces of the weather such as the rain or the wind and their effects on nature’s surfaces, reminding us of the power of the weather which sometimes goes by barely noticed or on occasion can leave behind shocking evidence of its destructive forces.

This series is based on sedimentary erosion, aiming to capture a snapshot of seeming movement created by water or the wind and its effects on surfaces. Wheel thrown porcelain and stoneware forms are enhanced with bold coloured engobes to highlight the undulating surfaces created in nature.

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My practice focuses on hand woven, hand constructed and hand embellished Passementerie that are designed to be worn on the body as playful, luxurious and exuberant decorations and accessories. I also hand weave bespoke lengths that are used to decorate interior accessories and furnishings. In addition, I also create exuberant and lively large-scale fabrics that are created using Passementerie methods.

Passementerie is a traditional technique and I draw on classical methods of hand craftsmanship, combined with a contemporary, original and innovative approach in regards to material choice, colour, texture, design and application. I often use a wide variety of materials within my work including feathers, climbing cords, reclaimed fur, metal, sequins and leather. My work celebrates the art of Passementerie and its extensive heritage whilst breathing new life into this often ignored and undervalued craft.

My mixed media work is produced by hand in my studio and is often sculptural and structural in nature. I work with a wide variety of creation methods including hand manipulation and looping, macramé, knotting and binding, pleating, cord making, dyeing and embellishment.

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The Tess light collection was inspired by geometric patterns found within nature. The light pendants combine traditional and modern ways of making, skills and knowledge and take advantages of their joined potential.

The motivation behind the collection was integrating long – established techniques of slip casting with elements of additive manufacturing and combining them with new mould making methods. Most of the designing process of the light was completed on computer screen with the use of 3D software and then each of the pieces was individually slip cast in the traditional fashion and hand finished in bone china, exploiting the material’s semi-translucent quality when illuminated.

The hand-blown glass dome encapsulates the ceramic shape, enhances its qualities and brings together traditional and contemporary techniques and materials.

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Tom Collison is a UK artist based in Hertfordshire. Originally he trained as a print designer at Leeds College of Art, here his practice grow to look more into exploration of materiality and begun to become more sculptural. After gaining a degree he went on to complete a Masters at the Royal College of Art, where he began experimenting with materials to create sculptural furniture.

His work looks to depict the human interaction involved with the making of objects as it reflects a similar process to that of natural growth. Growth within nature has always been key source of inspiration to his work, whether its drawing the details from an underside of a leaf or attempting to replicate the bulges in trees out of textiles. His work questions the innate comfort humans gained from the imperfections we see in nature.

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I am committed to the challenge of hand-building in clay, using various techniques to create complex ceramic sculptures. The often overlooked detail of bone, cloud, crystal and microscopic structures are observed as a starting point to developing pieces which possess a curious ambiguity. I aim to fix ungraspable states such as fleeing cloud formations which represent the ideal and the perishable, signifying doom and fantasy. The strange otherworldliness of natural phenomena transports me away from the mundane and I become excited when ceramic form seems alive, evoking awareness of life’s impermanence where not all makes sense. I am fascinated by the dynamism formed when repetitive growth patterns in living systems mutate as this produces tension.

Grouping sculptures enhances their unique persona as they form a dialogue, which generates an atmosphere of congruence and conflict. Contrast assists in generating an awkward air where geometry and irregularity, soft and hard evoke awareness of the impermanence of human emotions. Voluminous cloud shapes exploring the theme of space pushing out are juxtaposed with opposing harsh mesh structures that reveal the internal. Time is devoted to glaze testing. Equally through use of rich glaze surface and three dimensional forms, pieces develop depth of character.

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