Creative to the core, with a ceramics degree from Camberwell School of Art in the early 80s, I recently returned to education, graduating from Bath Spa University with a Masters in Ceramics. Now I have embarked on another adventure with my partner Robin; renovating a chapel in Devon, creating studios out of a cobwebby piggery and taming a neglected environment to resurrect a productive, flourishing vegetable garden.
The Old Chapel
Inspiration manifests itself though the incidental and odd – buried nails, rusty wire, unearthed bird skull – repair, reuse. Can you love what I see?
Texture is important to me. I love the pliability of clay, torn edges and finger prints, subdued only when absolutely necessary. I want to enhance this quality not deny it. Pieces touched by the lightness of spontaneity. I work between the lines, inhabiting liminal spaces; playing with forms for the wall and / or the body produces an intimate experience of sculptural works – challenging perceived boundaries where sculpture is untouchable, but jewellery is haptic art. Making in multiples enables myriad compositional adjustments, where small wearable elements can be upscaled, introducing an interactive tactility to larger wall adornment.
Look See Touch. Celebrating beauty in the imperfect, and delicacy in shadows.
All things are delicately interconnected
A Jenny Holzer Truism
I find there is a circularity in how I work. As a child I loved things that had a history – dusty old barns on grandad’s farm, a chipped mug with a nice pattern on it, hand-crocheted lace made by my great aunts – and I’m still hunting for detritus and the imperfectly mellowed. Years ago my degree show at Camberwell featured Goldfish Bowls and Toucan Jugs, now thirty+ years on and the fascination with fish and feathers still persists but with a more urgent message to do something about the environmental impact we humans are having on our worlds resources and animal companions.
Creative Thinking through Sustainable Making
Meaning in Making. Rusting gracefully into a reinvented future, celebrate patina and surfaces gathered over lifetimes. Transforming the commonplace, seeing something extraordinary in the ordinary. We inhabit a world of excess production and over consumption, themes of over-fishing, mass extinction of familiar animal species or mono-culture crops weave themselves through my work, along with the imperative to ‘make do and mend’ wherever possible. Ingenuity, creative thinking, delighting in re-using, re-loving the broken and overlooked. Make with thought, make with meaning, make beautiful.
All images: Robin Shelton Photography
- Collect International Craft Fair – London (Feb – Mar)
- Marshwood Virtual Gallery
- Prism Virtual Festival
- Cluster Crafts Virtual Festival
Also, Hothouse 2020 participant – Crafts Council creative business programme
- Marshwood Arts Awards, Bridport – Highly Commended (Nov)
- Fragility pt2 at RBSA, Birmingham with Prism Textiles (Oct)
- Taster Show at Artizan Gallery, Torquay (Sep)
- Devon Open Studios, Cotleigh (Sep)
- Cluster Jewellery, at The Old Truman Brewery, London (Sep)
- Jewellery // Sculpture at BACHT showroom, Vienna with AA-Collected (Jun-Sep)
- Précieux !? at Alliages Gallery, Lille with Precious.Collective (Jun-Sep)
- Fragility pt1 at Hoxton Arches, London with Prism Textiles (May-Jun)
- The Mall Galleries, London
- RBSA, Birmingham
- Whitstable Museum & Art Gallery, Kent
- Walford Mill, Wimborne, Dorset
- Poole Museum, Dorset
- Hoxton Arches, London
- Knitting & Stitching Shows at London, Dublin & Harrogate
- Alpha House Gallery, Sherborne, Dorset
- Russell-Cotes Museum, Bournemouth
- Holburne Museum, Bath
- Avalon Gallery, Marazion
- Black Swan Arts, Frome
- Design-Nation UK
- Crafts Council Directory
- Cluster Crafts