After a two-year hiatus, Ceramic Art London is back, taking place over three days in the Great Hall of Central Saint Martins, Ceramic Art London will build on three years of expansion which has seen audiences triple, with each event being complete.
With 92 leading manufacturers from 11 different countries and with prices ranging from £20 to £5,000, Ceramic Art London is the place to see and buy the best contemporary ceramics, from functional and decorative ceramics to abstract and architectural.
This year’s cohort of exhibitors includes 24 newcomers. Among them are James Evans, whose wavy textured works are coated in rusty iron crusts, Thai artist Eiair (or Hassakorn Hirunsirichoke) with his complex, extraterrestrial miniature forms and, from Canada, Toni Losey whose sculptural works are inspired by of the natural world and evoke new kinds of imaginings of marine life. Other notable newbies include Emma Lacey whose sublimely simple yet tactile tableware recently appeared on The Great British Bake-Off, and Andrew Walker whose graphic Brutalism-inspired vessels resemble stoneware paper lanterns.
Returning makers include Tricia Thom, with her Japanese-inspired porcelain works, acclaimed designer Sue Pryke, who, as well as being a major designer for IKEA, is a judge for The Great Pottery Throw Down, and Patricia Shone, whose the natural textures reflect the formation and erosion of the geology of the Isle of Skye where she lives and works. Animals and nature are a recurring theme, from Jenny Southam’s pastoral scenes to Charlotte Pack’s Species Pots to Zoe Whiteside’s white sandstone polar bears.
Pryke, who as well as being a major designer for IKEA is a judge for The Great Pottery Throw Down and Patricia Shone, whose natural textures reflect the formation and erosion of the geology of the Isle of Skye where she lives and works. Animals and nature are a recurring theme, from Jenny Southam’s pastoral scenes to Charlotte Pack’s Species Pots to Zoe Whiteside’s white sandstone polar bears.
“Patience and resilience are a prerequisite for pottery life, but the pandemic has tested the best of us. Potters too are used to isolation. Although we’re used to being locked in the studio – exploring and developing new ideas and designs – the past two years have shown us that we can’t do what we do in a bubble. It showed us that we need others; people who criticize our production, who like and buy what we make, and most importantly, it showed us how much we gain by being part of a supportive community of fellow creators. So, I’m beyond thrilled that the return of this important and joyful reunion means we can see each other again.
— Lara Scobie, ceramic artist and President of Ceramic Art London
Programmed by Central Saint Martins keynote speaker Duncan Hooson, ClayTalks returns with a series of illuminating talks from prestigious names in the world of ceramics. Highlights from this year include a keynote address by design author and director of the Zaha Hadid Foundation, Paul Greenhalgh, who will address the space that ceramics have historically occupied in the cultural and social scheme of things. , pondering what his role could and should be now.
Other speakers include award-winning artist Lawrence Epps whose lecture Hidden Treasure – acts of acquisition and disruption of gallery rules will explore the nature of chance, success and our relationship to valuables; Simeon Featherstone, who will reflect on his ceramic practice and his role as a creative facilitator of public art projects in the UK, and how clay can connect people to their local environment; independent curator and educator Tessa Peters on the potential benefits and potential limitations of collaborative and public working methods; Dr Guan Lee who will present Digital Manual, an ongoing research project studying hybrid fabrication methods using different composite materials, including clay, and exploring new ways to fabricate architectural components while questioning their technological context in the field of social sustainability; CJ O’Neill, who will demonstrate through his practice, the contribution of valuable (and often invisible) others in the work we do and the people we become; Christie Brown who will offer an overview of her many years of practice of figurative ceramics in relation to museum collections; renowned tableware ceramist Sue Pryke will look back on her 25 years of experience in the tableware industry, working with volume producers and high street retailers, as well as small-scale studio work for boutiques and independent galleries; Professor Steve Dixon will speak on the unique potential of ceramics as a material for storytelling and commemoration, and more talks will be announced soon.
On Air – at Ceramic Art London 2022
This year, Ceramic Art London is hosting On Air, a satellite exhibition and series of live events on the pressing topic of air pollution. Located at The Crossing in the Central Saint Martins public foyer and curated by Dutch design duo Smogware (Iris de Kievith and Annemarie Piscaer) and London artist Jo Pearl, On Air will investigate the pressing problem of air pollution using smog dust, clay, glaze, ceramic and clay stop-frame animation to make this invisible poison visible and tangible, aiming to
stimulate discussion, debate and, above all, action. The exhibition will feature works by five international and British artists: Smogware’s provocative teacups colored with smog-tinged glazes, the thought-provoking work of Kim Abeles allowing ambient particulate dust to fall onto commemorative plaques revealing portraits of world leaders and their air quality commitments.
The exhibition will also include the work of glaze specialist Linda Bloomfield who has depicted lichen in glazes, as early indicators of air pollution, Jasmine Pradissitto who sculpts in Noxtek, a ceramic geopolymer capable of absorbing nitrogen dioxide and Jo Pearl who combines ceramics with animated clay to bring the subject of heavy breathing to life. On Air will also feature the Air Lab – a place for informal discussion where visitors can hear how the work was done, how the works and glazes can be ‘read’, with more information to inspire the creators to involved in a growing international business. network of artists exploring the problem.
As we consider the impact of the pandemic on the world of ceramics – travel limitations, scarcity of materials and the vulnerability of self-employment – it is perhaps useful to remember how this 28+ year old art form 000 years has endured despite wars, environmental disasters, famine, and disease. As the world convulses, matter remains constant, offering infinitely mutable forms that serve as reassuring touchstones that mark time. Thus, we celebrate the return of artisans, potters, ceramists and people who love what they do. We can’t wait!
— Antony Quinn, BA Ceramic Design Course Leader, Central Saint Martins
Ceramic Art London Friday 8th to Sunday 10th April 2022 Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London 1 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London N1C 4AA. More information about exhibiting artists and live events can be found on the Ceramic Art London website. Ceramicartlondon.com
- Art News London
- Ceramic Art London
Mark Westall is the founder and editor of FAD magazine, founder and co-editor of Art of Conversation and founder of the @worldoffad platform