Anna Whitehouse & Toby Cotterill Showcase
27th July - 30th October 2021

Scroll down to catch up with Toby's Meet the Maker event...

Anna Whitehouse is a contemporary ceramicist and Toby Cotterill is a contemporary jeweller. Through their combined passion of nature and insect life, the pair are coming together and showcasing two new exclusive collaborative pieces in this fabulous exhibition as well as complimentary collections of their own.

Anna 
In early 2016 Anna was asked to produce a collection of work for Swarm, an exhibition that focused on the decline of the honey bee, using visual art as a way to communicate a serious ecological issue and engaging the audience by suggesting ways in which they could help.  Anna decided to investigate the seasonal forage available to bees, she contacted local bee keeping associations and the North York Moors National Park Authority, as well as scouring the extensive RHS bee friendly plant list.  Using an online database of images from a Scanning Electron Microscope for reference, Anna hand carves and models porcelain specimens of larger than life pollen grains, allowing the viewer into this beautiful and hidden microscopic world.  Back in 2019 Anna held her fascinating Ceramic Showcase here called 100 Bottles in 100 Days which you can read more about here.
 

“The sculpture I have made for the collaboration highlights the increase in single use plastics over the pandemic, questioning our impact and place within the natural world. A distorted, porcelain, hand sanitiser bottle is armoured with solid silver components that Toby cast from real crab claws.”

 

“Even though time was tight, the opportunity of working with Toby was too exciting to turn down! I have been wanting to add metal components to my ceramics for a while now and to be able to explore this with a jeweller of incredible skill, and who's aesthetics mirror my own, is a dream. We're both excited to see what the other has made from our swap and the potential for a more significant collaboration in the future.”

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“The sculpture I have made for the collaboration highlights the increase in single use plastics over the pandemic, questioning our impact and place within the natural world.  A distorted, porcelain, hand sanitiser bottle is armoured with solid silver components that Toby cast from real crab claws.”

Anna

Toby 
Toby grew up on a farm in West Wales and spent his childhood immersed in nature.  His jewellery celebrates the natural world, particularly arthropods, the group of animals including crustaceans and insects, imagining them evolving onto and around the human body.  Toby uses traditional silver-smithing techniques, forging sheet silver over steel stakes and into wooden formers using hammers and punches to create unique three dimensional forms.  After soldering, fusing and finishing these are often articulated and combined with gold and oxides to create lively, humorous pieces of wearable sculpture.


“I’m really excited to be exhibiting alongside Anna at Leeds Craft and Design Gallery, I love her work!  She makes beautiful, considered, forms, and I connected to her work immediately.  We share similar organic inspirations, and despite using different materials it feels like our pieces have evolved from the same place.  We are both creating individual collections for the exhibition, but also making a couple of collaborative pieces.  For this we have swapped an objects/ series of objects, and are busy combining it with our own work.  We’re doing this in secret so the first time we’ll see the finished objects will be when the exhibition opens on the 27th.  I can’t wait to see the final exhibition, and hope perhaps this is just the start of a collaborative process between our ceramic and silver work.”

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"Anna gave me an amazing organic piece as part of our collaboration, with beautiful poise and expression. I wanted to continue that energy, adding silver spikes and tendrils to natural features in the ceramic, as if the piece was sprouting new growth and coming to life. This was created towards the end of lockdown, and reflects a growing sense of optimism, new beginnings, and feelings of hope."

Toby

Catch up with Toby's Meet the Maker event by viewing the video we've created for you.  Enjoy!