Earth Works - the Art of Ceramics with NPA
Sunday 28 March - Sunday 6 June.
Working within restrictions since last year, is a miracle that this exhibition has happened. A huge thank you to members of NPA who have participated, we know that creativity and the pandemic was a struggle for many. The variety of works from the humble medium of clay is stunning.
The Northern Potters Association encourages and supports artists in the production of sculptural, functional, fine are and decorative studio pottery in all its forms throughout the North of England. We are proud of our affiliation with them, and have showcased their skills with biannual exhibitions, programmed into our diary since opening Water Street Gallery in 2010 - ‘Creatures Great & Small’ - ‘The Ceramic Vessel’ - ‘Naked Raku’ - ‘Heat’ & now ‘Earthworks’.
Anne Haworth | Beverley Seth | Charles Brown | Claire Allam | David Helm | Drew Cairnes
Dianne Cross | Emmeline Butler | Gerry Grant | Helen Cammiss | Janet Halligan
Janet Nuttall | Joan & Jack Hardie | John Cook | Kate Buckley | Kay Kennedy | Lis Holt
Marion Walsh | Rosemary McGarr | Sarah Heaton | Sue Turner | Varie Freyne
Water Street Gallery Ceramicists
Betty Wiseman | Bryony Rich | Deniol Williams | Emma Williams |Gabi Koma-Dixon | John Scott
Judy Caplin | Laura Hancock | Martha’s Grandad | Mia Sarosi | Mary Johnson
Paul Muchan | Penny Hunt | Sophie Smith | Vanessa Conyers and more
It is with great sadness that ceramic artist Jen Altman passed away earlier this year. Inspirational on so many levels, bringing holistic life into art.
An established bond with particular characteristics of our landscape is shown in works by Sue Turner - the patchwork interactions of moorland, borders, and fields, and in the deeply serrated cracks of Emmeline Butler’s limestone inspired exquisite orbs. Hand-built stoneware sculptures by Janet Halligan express abstracted landscapes through the dynamic juxtaposition of curves and angles while overlapping glazes in Gerry Grant’s stoneware vessels create a truly three-dimensional statement inspired by the unique stratification and sweeping curves of the Yorkshire Wolds. Evoking the seashore and coastline, vases constructed by Dianne Cross feature washes of cobalt and copper glazes with occasional ‘pops’ of yellow. And, both subtle and robust hints of natural and urban features are the bedrock of Rosemary McGarr’s porcelain and stoneware sculptural works. The plant life of the shoreline and underwater inspires Anne Haworth to create complex and intricate sculptural forms using traditional skills in both black and white hearthstone or porcelain clays.
Exploring new territory in ceramics are Joan and Jack Hardie with their experimental 3D clay printer, resulting in stunning, small scale works in glowing porcelain. The transition from 2D to 3D through folding paper fascinates Kate Buckley and is apparent in her porcelain sculptural works, particularly reflecting the play between shadow and light.
Observing animals, dogs, birds, sheep, and even wild boar is a fine body of works by Kay Kennedy, executed in raw clay with a saggar smoke fining, creating a powerful body of work. Anthropomorphic ‘Caretaker Birds’ by Beverley Seth are a poignant and timely reflection of our current predicaments with a creative nod towards folk art. Expressive and abstracted responses to animals, interpreting primitive and sacred aspects, are exhibited by Helen Cammiss in her ‘Herd’ series.
The diaristic vessels and wall works, ‘Fragments’ by John Cook incorporate mixed media in an original and colourful way and, if steam-punk is your thing, then look at Marion Walsh’s informal slab-formed sculptures with cogs and screws embedded in the surfaces. Defying the functional and pushing boundaries are rapidly thrown pieces on the potter's wheel by Sarah Heaton; raw, yet warmed, pieces made with red clay underlying dripping slip glazes.
Stressing the domestic, potters including Charles Brown and Varie Freyne encapsulate all things homely through terracotta and bright painterly glazes. Combining the decorative and functional are pots by Janet Nuttal who enjoys contrasting glazed and unglazed surfaces. The turquoise green colour of David Helm’s crackle glazes lidded storage jars juxtapose with the smooth hand built vessels by Claire Allam, which act as a canvas for exploring the effect of fire on clay - the ancient method of pit firing with all of its unpredictable and stunning outcomes.