Protégés / Saturday 29th April 2017 - Saturday 3rd June 2017
Protégés is a mixed media exhibition exploring how creative ideas evolve from mentors to their protégés. The dedicated mentor can launch a creative career which can then blossom, but this exhibition also celebrates how the new ideas and innovative thinking of protégés feed back into their mentors’ work. We hear from the artists themselves on how their relationships grow with time, and how both profit from the novel insight gained.
Featuring jewellery by Sarah Parker Eaton alongside her mentor the internationally respected jeweller and silversmith Norman Cherry, textiles by Matthew Harris whose friend and mentor is the highly acclaimed textile artist Michael Brennand- Wood, and, exhibiting for the first time, sculptural glass by Bruce Marks and his mentor Peter Layton, a maker that is at the forefront of British studio glass. The ceramic expertise of Liverpool Hope graduate Attila Olah will also be on show next to that of his mentor and tutor, Alan Whittaker.
Exclusively for Protegés, Chris Keenan and his protégé Katharina Klug will each make a group of pots that they will exchange mid way through the creative process, leaving the other to complete the pots with their own ideas and style – a collaboration reflecting the ongoing respect and trust between them.
This exhibition is curated by gallery officer Kate Moult.
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The former head of the acclaimed Birmingham School of Jewellery, Professor Norman Cherry has exhibited his work extensively internationally and many of his pieces are held in private and public collections throughout the world. One of his medals is held by the British Museum in their Contemporary Collection.
Sarah Parker-Eaton is a jeweller who works precious metals. She was taught by Norman Cherry at the University of Northumbria and graduated in 1988 with a BA (Hons) in 3D Design. Sarah is inspired by a diverse selection of marine fauna, plankton and fossils. This has led her to make strange stalked creatures that could emerge from mud flats and spiky beasts that would be more at home on rocky shores.
Established by Peter Layton in 1976, London Glassblowing was among the first hot-glass studios in Europe. Self-taught as a glassmaker, Peter Layton’s work is organic and tactile, striving to achieve a form of controlled asymmetry. His series evolve by ‘sketching on the blowing iron’ in the belief that an understanding of the work is best achieved through making.
Bruce has been working for Peter Layton since 2001, as a trainee and assistant, then as Studio Manager and most recently as Peter’s principal colourist. He completed his Masters’ Degree at the University for the Creative Arts at Farnham in 2010. He was the winner of the Gold Award in the Glass category of Craft & Design Selected National Awards 2014.
Alan Whittaker is the Associate Professor of Design at Liverpool Hope University.
His 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.
Alan’s 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 his latest pieces.
Attila is a recent graduate from Liverpool Hope University and student of Alan Whittaker. His work explores the power of the vessel: over thousands of years, through association with birth, nourishment, ritual, celebration and death, the vessel has become deeply rooted in the human psyche. Attila explores the vessel as the archetypal symbol of the body through which the Self and that which is beyond the Self can be realised.
Attila specialises in ceramics and ice sculpture, and has worked with company Glacial Art to produce ice sculptures for global TV phenomenon Game of Thrones, as well as summer placement with world renowned ceramicist Claudi Casanovas.
Chris began working with clay in his mid-thirties when he began a two year apprenticeship with Edmund de Waal. His collection includes beakers, bowls, cups, teapots, jugs and pots for flowers.
Most recently, Chris spent six weeks as Artist-in-Residence at the Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art in Japan working with local clays and glazes. He was invited to fire work in the salt-glaze and noborigama kilns of Tomoo Hamada.
Katharina Klug is a ceramicist based in Cambridge. Chris Keenan was her mentor as part of the Craft Council’s Hothouse programme.
Her work is about simplicity of design and shape, bringing these in relationship to the surface. Katharina is inspired by the elemental colour and shape of ancient Korean pottery. What she loves about ceramic is that it starts of as a soft lump and can become pretty much anything you want it to be. After the firing it is hard and durable and can survive centuries. But at the same time it’s fragile and can be broken into pieces in a moment.
Michael Brennand – Wood visual artist, curator, lecturer, arts consultant. Is internationally regarded as one of the most innovative and inspiring artists working in textiles. He has occupied a central position in the research, origination and advocacy of Contemporary International Art Textiles. A defining characteristic of his work has been a sustained commitment to the conceptual synthesis of contemporary and historical sources, in particular the exploration of three-dimensional line, structure and pattern.
Goldsmith’s trained Matthew Harris has never been interested in ‘perfect’ textiles. It’s the interruption of the patterned surface which excites him. Cloth made imperfect as a result of patches, tears, darns and frayed edges held together with purely necessary stitches; these are the qualities which motivate him to make work.
Harris’ practice makes reference to a number of textile traditions but also to a wide variety of other sources and influences, including music. This interest was sparked by a friendship with the conductor Martin Brabbins, who showed him the highly individual language of notation employed by the composer, Karlheinz Stockhausen.