Nicola Tassie (b.1960, UK) is a ceramicist whose work integrates the traditions of studio pottery, with a conceptual and material exploration of the nature and function of form and aesthetics.
'Slip and Stasis' opens Sunday 6 June 2021 to coincide with the inaugural London Gallery Weekend. The exhibition unites three related groups of works from Tassie’s practice, which operates in the intervening space between function and non-function: the ‘Stasis’ series; ‘Totems’; and the ‘Flatlands Tableware’ series.
In the Stasis Series, wall-based ceramic ‘canvases’ are cut with lines, painted with slip and fired with or without glazes. Some of the ‘canvases’ are things in themselves, a result of material processes. In other cases, an object is made in response to the gesture of the slip and or a pictorial suggestion, creating a diptych between surface and object.
Tassie trained as a painter in the early 1980s and the questioning relationship between painting and ceramics is most evident in this series; pairing object and image through the extended language of ceramics
The Totem pieces build from the tradition of the potter’s wheel. Different thrown forms are stacked one on top of another, in a vertical, reaching pillar. A wide range of coloured glazes absorb and reflect the light and space they surround and inhabit.
Conversely, the Flatlands Tableware Series spreads laterally. Half-submerged domestic tableware and abstract forms queue and rub shoulders, as if washed remnants of thought and conversation.
Other works, such as The Lamp, play with a dumb objectivity and functionality of what that thing ‘is’, in that the ‘light’ is solid, opaque and heavy. In contrast, the omnipotence of The Eye bears down with a knowing judgement on the space it pervades, the contents of which are reflected in the glaze.
Tassie’s work has been exhibited at the London Art Fair and Collect: International Art Fair For Modern Craft and Design. She was selected for the Crafts Council’s A Future Made programme in 2016 and exhibited during Miami Design Week. Tassie is represented by Hostler Burrows Gallery in the USA and has an on-going collaboration with designer Margaret Howell, making limited edition tableware and designs for lighting.