British artist Edmund de Waal encountered the art and poetry of David Jones at Kettle’s Yard while studying English at The University of Cambridge. When he later started working with porcelain, it was Jones’ work that profoundly influenced his approach to making.
‘if we attend’ (2015), a white, wall-mounted vitrine with translucent glazing and 16 porcelain vessels, is a new piece produced especially for the David Jones exhibition. It references the calming slowing down effect of these words in the second line of Jones’s poem The Anathemata: ‘We already and first of all discern him making this thing other. His groping syntax, if we attend, already shapes…’. The work, displayed alongside two other porcelain works – ‘in the north north east’ (2014) and ‘thirteen circles’ (2014) - will be accompanied by a series of poems by David Jones, creating a contemplative space reflecting the nature of the work. De Waal’s new book The White Road, published by Chatto & Windus, launches this autumn.