2 March 2023 – 22 April 2023
Upstairs at Corvi-Mora gallery there’s a massive desk set with tableware, constructed from varied oval shapes. On the partitions grasp related ceramics. This specific setting performs with what a standard eating desk would possibly appear to be earlier than a meal: dishes able to be plated up. Artist, author, and educator Alison Britton evokes conviviality and communality by her objects.
The dishes are empty highlighting the facility of their summary kind. They’re sculptures baring the indicators and traces of their making. In Pink Ripple, 2021, a palette of earthly browns is the background to a dance of painted thick traces of pinks, greens, and blacks. Any try to make a distinction between artwork and craft is redundant. These are painted sculptures, or work on ceramics – boundaries are blurred.
References from the historical past of ceramics are hidden within the works. In Blue-dash Charger, 2023, the contours reference the delftware makers from the 17th and 18th centuries. In Undertow, 2020, a thicker snake-like slab references the plates of Renaissance potter Bernard Palissy, who included reliefs of fish, vegetation, and reptiles in his dishes. Purely representational, Palissy’s glazes had been product of greens, browns and yellows; and the mixture of those parts got here to be often known as ‘pastoral pottery’. The earthly palette of Britton’s work distantly recollects Palissy, and the unique abstraction of the plates transports them into one other dimension. The modern nature of those works integrates the information of craft historical past – a historical past Britton, herself, is part of. Within the Seventies, Britton contributed to reform ceramics training within the UK by taking a distance from the normal studio pottery of Bernard Leach that dominated the sector till then.
Britton performs with the that means of plattering. “Plattering echoes with Shattering”, writes Britton, evoking the noise of damaged plates; and continues:
and Flattering; has some sense of flat objects. (and constructive compliments)
and Mattering: clay is matter, as in materials.
Mattering suggests having some relevance to life, or being price having.
Battering: I hit the clay with a rolling pin within the first phases of creating flat sheets for slabbing.
Clattering: the noise of washing up crockery, or piling plates in a stack, or dropping a plate on the ground.
All these verbs describe the ambiance of this exhibition. The desk is ready to let the objects carry recollections of individuals and place pricey to us, a few of which, as Britton reminds us in her work, have given significance to our lives.
Ilaria Puri Purini
Curator of Nationwide Programmes
1A Kempsford Rd, London SE11 4NU
Opening Occasions: Tuesday to Saturday, 11.00– 18.00
Exhibition open till 22 April 2023