Starting the year with a sense of calm and stillness, CANDIDA STEVENS FINE ART GALLERY, has brought together a group of contemporary artists, who work with clay, to demonstrate the beauty and possibilities of ceramic art. LIFE, STILL is curated taking inspiration from Edmund de Waal and his use of the medium to explore ‘new beginnings’ and “trying to still a small part of the world, make an inside space”. Viewers will be able to quietly consider the role and making of the ‘pot’ as art and to appreciate, close-to, the beauty, fragility and artistic sensitivity of these exquisitely crafted vessels.
CHRIS KEENAN, de Waal’s first apprentice, learnt his skill first-hand, before setting up his own studio to create his work in Limoges porcelain. An understated colourist, his use of glaze is crisp and controlled. The Mirror black and rust Tenmoku and deep celadon creations are made in small batches with a theme of repetition and continuous refinement. Unlike de Waal, all his pieces are designed for domestic space, and function plays a large role in his work.
Alongside this will be Keenan’s studio partner, CARINA CISCATO, herself once an apprentice to Julian Stair. Ciscato will be showing her new work that explores unconventional balance and the imperfect. Her seemingly spontaneous and distorted pots are carefully applied with subtle and delicate marks, each unique in its character and form.
The last of the ceramic artists is ANTONIA SALMON. She takes inspiration from the historical and large landscapes and applies her distinctive approach to create forms that are always abstract and strongly geometric. Salmon attempts to capture the energy of opposites: chaos and order, holding on to and letting go and dynamism and stillness.
To complement these works, the still life painting of modern British painter William Brooker can also be seen. His dark-toned richly painted early works, have often been placed in the very English tradition of Sickert and the Camden Town School. Jean Noble RI SWA, abstract paintings also feature and, like Salmon, are inspired by landscape and place. Meanwhile, Trudie Mooney’s contemporary take on the ancient art of painting pots show her consistent palette that seeks stillness, subtlety and serenity. Two still life paintings by British modern master Ivon Hitchens are also featured and demonstrate his seven principles of opposition, transition, subordination, rhythm, repetition, symmetry and balance when painting such a composition.
To create a more exciting context to present the ceramics, Candida has collaborated with two local furniture designers, Henry Williams and Edd Lewis. Rather than plinth meets plinth their designs will be used to display the ceramics and will be an opportunity to showcase their own work for sale.