Julian Stair Quietus: The vessel, death and the human body13. Jul - 11. Nov 12 / ended mima
Tues, Wed, Fri & Sat 10.00am–4.30pm Thurs 10.00am–7.00pm Sun 12noon–4.00pm Closed Mon
One of the world’s most acclaimed potters, Julian Stair’s work is well known for its subtle palette of greys, reds and white, as well as its variety of scale - from domestic to monumental.
In his forthcoming solo exhibition Stair addresses the containment of the human body in death. Quietus features a series of artist-made funerary works, from cinerary jars to life-size sarcophagi, drawing upon the symbolic language of ceramic vessels and offering an alternative means of engaging with this challenging subject.
“Whilst there is an immediacy to the beauty of his vessel, the classical refinement of the form and the subtle, tactile details of the surface, there is also a focussed and ongoing investigation into a concern that touches humans from all backgrounds. Stair might advocate that the relationship that a human has to the vessel form is one of the most fundamental. These objects can be the most essential, most precious and most cherished forms that we engage with on a daily basis and for much of human history, the primary material for these forms has been clay.
For Quietus, Stair takes his exploration of this relationship through to a terminal moment, to consider what role the vessel form might play in this final right of passage as the body or the remains of the body are interred. The exhibition and investigation will seek to understand how human societies have reacted to this unavoidable event that is so difficult for us to confront. It is not a macabre, nor is it a specifically theistic investigation, rather the forms that Stair has created look at how in death we can see a celebration of life, whether from a religious or a secular perspective.” James Beighton, Curator, mima
Quietus will be on display at mima Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art from 13 July – 11 November 2012, later touring to National Museum Cardiff and Winchester Cathedral.
Julian Stair is a potter and writer who specialises in commissions and site-specific installations. www.julianstair.com
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