Featuring pieces from esteemed artists and craftspeople Dame Magdalene
Odundo OBE, Jennifer Lee OBE, Peter Collingwood OBE and Hans Coper, each of whom have brought craft to a contemporary art audience through their
innovative and idiosyncratic techniques and mastery over their chosen materials. For over four decades, Harding has built an eclectic collection of art with a focus
on tactile objects which is displayed in his home in the company of understated
twentieth-century interior design. Taking no notice of trends, Harding’s collecting
has instead been driven by his commitment to acquiring work by a select handful
of artists across their careers. As a result, every room in his home has become a
snapshot into the archive of each artist, revealing their developing practices in a
way rarely seen in public collections.
Ceramics, often kept behind display cases for fear of their fragility, here bask
confidently atop transparent surfaces, chests of drawers and above cupboards,
creating unexpected and unmediated encounters. Undaunted by the delicate
nature of the objects which fill his home, Harding directly contravenes the popular
wisdom of museum practices, confident in the knowledge that the true pleasure
of these works comes from the haptic encounter.
In place of neutral white walls, wall hangings - artworks in their own right - create
dynamic backdrops for sculptural ceramics, with curated vignettes appearing at
every angle. The softness of these hangings is contrasted in their linear geometry.
Like the furniture which occupies each room, modernity, and beauty are their
A Passion for Form seeks to stay true to the motivations behind the forms of
display within Harding’s home while placing the works in a new environment
where they are accessible to a broader audience.