Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Nice Jugs

Aah , craft ; you spend all of those years nose to the wheel, face buried in tomes written by Leach, Lane, Cooper ,Cardew et al and then snotty nosed painters come along and give the sometimes jaded pot'ry world a kick up the jacksy by producing work that is witty, playful and enmeshed in the history of (industrial) ceramics.

One such interloper is the 'very' Stephen Bird whose show with 'Big' Ray Hughes finishes soon. And I quote:

"Stephen Bird makes ceramics that toy with convention. Stephen was born in Stoke-on-Trent – England’s Pottery District – so-called because it was the town in which Royal Doulton, Spode and Wedgewood were founded. His deliberate use of the industrial techniques and materials of his hometown form a practice he has dubbed ‘industrial sabotage’.

In this exhibition, his second at Ray Hughes Gallery, he plays with the forms of traditional ceramics – platters, vases and toby jugs. Stephen’s pieces are heavily detailed in unexpected ways – a string of dolls heads form the handle of cup; Mickey Mouses and Jammy Dodgers protrude from the limbs of bearded figures; birds feature frequently. References to art history, mythology and politics mingle with pop culture artefacts to create vibrant hybrids."
Whilst on an ornithological note, I wholeheartedly recommend this book by Margaret Atwood's other half.

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