Liverpool Corked / Saturday 26th January 2013 - Saturday 2nd March 2013
This exhibition will feature 3 contemporary ceramic artists at differing career stages all with a connection to Bluecoat Display Centre and Liverpool Hope University.
Alan Whittaker works in porcelain and bone china and is a Senior Lecturer at Hope University, Naomi Robinson is a Hope ceramics graduate and is a recently selected Hothouse artist and Sara Flynn, our International residency artist who will be based at Hope University from mid January for 6 weeks.
The International Residency is part of our ‘Making an Impact’ community outreach programme.
I produce wheel thrown ceramic vessels intended for decorative purposes, referring to mourning, loss and remembrance. I use secrecy and hidden messages to portray these emotions through the use of digital transfer and handmade stamps. I have always been interested in texture and surface quality, and believe that this is an important aspect of my work.
I use my own personal messages to create a range of memorial objects with ambiguous lettering on the interior. I adorn my forms in this way to intrigue the viewer, encouraging them to peer inside. I also wish to portray that we, as individuals, always keep our true feelings on the inside.
“The major concerns that my work deals with are a love of the process of throwing, an ongoing relationship with porcelain and a fascination with the theme of the vessel, in both literal and abstracted interpretations.
“My work currently addresses two primary themes – The first deals with the enjoyment of the qualities of the porcelain and the practice of manipulating, cutting and reassembling freshly thrown forms to highlight movement and volume. Roads, pathways and hedgerows as well as the curves and contours of the local landscape inform the alterations of the thrown form to produce sculptural decorative vessels. Drawn and abstracted observations of rural ancillary buildings and their subtle contrasting tones, contours, edges and textures further inspire the work.
“The second theme addresses the placement of the altered forms in relation to each other. The possibilities exist for the placing of inanimate objects (the vessels) to tell stories of group dynamics, protectiveness, inclusion and exclusion and family bonding. Some of my work deals with presenting the work in an installation structure in order to convey my ideas to the viewer.
“Sketchbooks feature heavily for the planning of the structure and form of the pieces by drawing and eliminating different proportions and elements of a potential piece, as well as using separate notebooks and scrapbooks to explore the issue of group dynamics and object placement.”
My research into porcelain and Bone China vessels relates to the study of rock formations and tidal changes along the Lancashire coastline and the area of South Devon around the Budleigh Salterton region.
My on-going research into geological formations from the areas of the Giant’s Causeway Northern Ireland, the Grand Canyon Arizona, Stintino Sardinia and the Minas gerais area of Brazil has developed during the past years.
The coastline of Australia and especially Frazer Island has also been particularly influential during the making of these latest pieces.
The use of sand-blasting techniques in relation to pierced relief decoration and technical research into the translucency of bone china bodies and the optimum firing schedule is on-going.
Light and the interplay of translucency both internally and externally has manifested itself in these latest pieces.
Drawing is fundamental to my ceramic practice .I aim to draw with light through the use of translucency and perforations in Bone China.
“Drawing onto Clay is firing thoughts into ceramic .The concern is not academic correctness in drawing but to create a work of visual decorative poetic surprise, and aesthetic satisfaction.”
Eric Mellon (ceramicist)