Art in China Clay

A Happy New Year to everyone! It has been a fun and busy few weeks and apologies for the lack of blog posts.

I thought I would start the New Year with an artist, who has been exhibiting with us right from the beginning. Jenny Beavan works in China Clay, which she sources very close to her home on Bodmin Moor. Her work is always energetic and innovative as well as elegant and aesthetically of a very high standard. Jenny has in the past created bodies of work, which are much closer to installation art than studio pottery and draws on her experience of industrial history and traditional processes. We always love having her work at 45 Southside and were very honoured, when she agreed to have one of our temporary exhibition opportunities in March 2010. As part of the Water at Work exhibition she also held a very well attended artist’s talk showing in more detail how she works and where she draws inspiration from.

Jenny describes her work in her own words:

I am interested in movement in relation to natural change, as seen in changed states of matter – decay, disintegration, relocation and reformation – in particular the role ‘water’ plays in this action. In order to discover more about this in my work, I find myself exploring the certainty of change, working through ideas of containment, from the conventional form of the vessel, to consideration of the Earth and also our own bodies as vessels.

In order to extend and capture a sense of change in my work, I use materials indigenous to inspirational sites, recycling them and re-subjecting them to physical energies and heat. I call on all of my practised techniques, for instance the building and cutting of clay stacks; the taking of surface impressions to create the ‘skin’ and memory of a place; and the encapsulation of fired clay. The intention in my work is always to capture a moment in the process of change; to reflect both the physical and spiritual quality of ‘place‘; and to suggest equal importance in both the inside and the outside of all my forms.”

Jenny holds a BA in ceramics from the Manchester Polytechnic and has exhibited widely nationally and internationally. Her work is also represented well in public and private collections around the world. Amongst the many international awards, she has won for her work are also the Contemporary Craft Fellowship funded by the  Arts Council, Crafts Council, Esmee Fairburn, Arts Matrix and Devon Guild of Craftsmenin 2008. She was also the recepient of the Cornwall Crafts Association Craftsmanship Award in  2009.

Jenny’s work speaks and appeals to many people, while also being of exceptionally high quality and craftmanship the result of a fascinating artistic process directly inspired by her natural surroundings and resources. Her work has earned her very high critical acclaim and the works are widely collected and admired.

We look forward to continuing to work with and exhibit Jenny Beavan in 2012.