Adorned with quotations from Swedenborg’s writings, and echoing the style of Blake’s hand-coloured etching plates from his Lambeth poems, the ceramics replicate creamware of the period, with hand-applied coloured lead glaze and transfer printing.
The works originate from a period in Blake’s life when his financial and public fortunes were at a low ebb. It is likely that Blake’s friend, John Flaxman, one of the most significant artists employed by Wedgwood and a founding member of the Swedenborg Society, was the link for the improbable engraving commission; a stark contrast to the visionary imagery Blake is famous for. The engravings may be seen as the work of a man in desperate circumstances, however the Swedenborg principle of service to others might be present in Blake’s salutation to Wedgwood, ‘your humble servant’.
Diane Eagles is a London-based ceramic artist, she has shown work in The Wellcome Collection: A Museum of Modern Nature; Kingston Guildhall; The site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis Fringe Exhibition; Dulwich Artists Open House; Morley Gallery; Southwark Cathedral Lancelot’s Link; Lambeth Open and The Contemporary Crafts & Design Fair, Chelsea and the cover of The International Journal of Art Psychotherapy. She is a founding member of the ceramic artist’s collective, The Associated Clay Workers Union (ACWU). www.edensclay.co.uk; www.acwu.co.uk
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