AboutKerry Jameson, Nao Matsunaga and Dawn Youll are the newest artists to be represented by Marsden Woo. All three have been shortlisted for the 2011 Arts Foundation Award for Ceramics, the winner of which is announced at the end of January.
In this exhibition Kerry Jameson focuses on the body and mortality, with her main piece consisting of a large blackened ceramic corpse. Inspiration comes from art of the Late Gothic and Medieval period, from research into past medical practices and tools at the Wellcome Collection and the Science Museum, and from her interest in the survival of fragments from antiquity.
Jameson works in ceramics and mixed media, often incorporating canvas and hessian into her pieces when she feels she can no longer continue with ceramic. She describes her working process as âjoining and marrying different materials, creating an environment (a material world) which gives rise to an emotional world'. She says âwork starts with a thought or feeling, an undigested experience that needs to be worked through'.
Nao Matsunaga creates organic abstract sculptures, which although non-referential frequently provoke various subconscious associations. He seeks to create his own visual language, ârather than cut and paste other peoples''. Modernist influences remain strong in his work for this exhibition, which consists of both floor and plinth-based sculptures.
His floor pieces are placed upon wooden stands made of found sticks, cherry wood or oak. The wooden surfaces are carved with markings that resemble tree bark; almost parodying the material they are made of. These supports form a literal and conceptual framework for the Stoneware pieces they hold, and are created simultaneously with the ceramics as part of the same thinking process. Their fragile appearance highlights Matsunaga's Modernist concern with line, weight and weightlessness.
Dawn Youll is inspired by her surroundings the urban landscape, the studio environment, and the making process itself. Her work frequently consists of pairs, which are developed separately and gradually, until a body of work as a whole is formed. Youll then curates these into combinations that explore potential narratives. She explains that âwithin my collection of objects that are performing various supporting roles, I hope to present the viewer with a landscape full of potential'.
Youll cites abstract ceramist Ron Nagle as an important influence, as he âmanages to sum up the idea of place'. She strips back her subject matter to a simple outline, which is then built up into semi-abstract, three-dimensional forms. Surface is added to these blank components, often with intensely rich colour. Through research into her own environment, form, colour, surface and often words are carefully considered, providing the reference points evoked in her semi-abstract ceramic sculptures.
Kerry Jameson (b. 1969) studied ceramics at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design (1989-92) and the Royal College of Art (2006-09). She spent the fifteen intervening years running her own successful studio making figurative sculpture, often of dogs. Her work is included in the Anthony Shaw Collection.
Nao Matsunaga (b. 1980, Osaka, Japan) studied at the University of Brighton (1999-2002) and the Royal College of Art (2005-07). His work appears in the public collection of the Crafts Council, and he has been awarded the Anglo-Sweden Society Bursary and the Leverhume Trust's grant.
Dawn Youll (born 1977) studied Ceramics at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 1999. She continued her studies at the Centre for Ceramic Studies at Cardiff School of Art and Design (2007-8), after working in the film and television industry for a number of years. Her work features in public collection of the V&A, London. She has taught at Glasgow School of Art and the John Wheatley College in Glasgow, and
runs the Crafts Residency programme at Cove Park, Scotland.