The starting point for this new body of work was a stack of chairs at the back of a building, a particular type of chair with a black powder coated metal frame and a moulded plastic seat. For Youll, this created a strong association with a certain type of venue and its ever-changing function. A stack of chairs becomes an object, temporarily stored away ready for the next function.
This series has an emphasis on function, and while continuing to make insightful observations into contemporary experience, is more self-referential that perhaps Youll’s previous work has been. As well as her surroundings, the pieces that she is making seem to reflect her personal situation more than others have.
The artist’s interest in her immediate environment and in analysing familiar objects is further embraced in this exhibition by these elements of self-reflection and extends to her studio wall. She pins images to it that illustrate her research and the combining of function and aesthetics. Peeping through the images, the wall has also offered itself up as a surface to cast. Its function is to clad her studio, to create a protective skin, and now it has also been incorporated into a model, removed from its intended context and given an entirely new role and significance.
DAWN YOULL originally trained at Glasgow School of Art and continued her studies at the International Ceramics Centre at Cardiff School of Art and Design. Her vibrant ceramic sculptures are an expression of her personal environment - responses to familiar items found around her home, studio and local streetscape. Her method of analysing and distilling the essence of ordinary objects to create emphatic signs offers incisive insights into contemporary experience.
Youll’s work has featured in numerous exhibitions across the UK, most recently in Crafting Narrative, a Crafts Council Touring Exhibition guest-curated by Onkar Kular. She represented the UK at the European Ceramic Context exhibition in Denmark and inCeramics: The New Generation in France, both in 2010. In 2011 she was awarded the prestigious Arts Foundation Fellowship for Ceramics and her work can be found in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Crafts Council, London. Youll is also Crafts Programme Producer at Cove Park, Scotland, and has held teaching posts at both Glasgow School of Art and Grays School of Art in Aberdeen.