29th June - 28th September 2019
Image: Marieke Ringel
Sculptural works of art for the home or garden by a collection of celebrated UK makers. Man’s best friend is explored through a variety of materials which have been cleverly handcrafted into different breeds of dogs as well as those animals closely related to dogs such as wolves and foxes.
Born and raised in Southern Africa, Pippa qualified as a goldsmith and went on to work for the artist-jeweller Wendy Ramshaw in London for over ten years. A major career change followed her decision to study for a degree in Zoology, leading to a move to Jersey to work with the gorillas at Durrell for many years. A period of ill health brought about another change in direction, and In 2010 Pippa opened her studio on the Old French Harbour, combining her making skills with her love of natural forms and textures, and with the odd and unusual in the natural world. Creating work both to commission and to her own design in a variety of materials, she has recently been working on an open ended series of hand-built ceramic figures, combining animal and insect based forms with elements drawn from African and Japanese pottery, ancient vessels, vintage toys, and her love of animation. For her ceramics Pippa works intuitively and almost entirely unplanned, each work often following on from the previous one in a form of hand-made evolution. All pieces are hand-built using pinching and coiling techniques, and are finely finished at both leather hard and dry stages. Pippa prefers the matt, tactile surfaces of unglazed clay when working in terracotta, and also enjoys the contrasting textures and tones of partially glazed black stoneware.
Heartfelt Dogs (Von Allen)
Veronica Allen, creator of Heartfelt Dogs, has always been creative and growing up she was obsessed with puppets and stop frame animation. She has worked in the arts since graduating from Huddersfield University in 1984 and whilst paper became her thing for a while it wasn’t until she found the art of needle felting that she felt truly at home. Her needle felted characters are inspired by her dog Barney and his ability to change personality according to what he thinks it might get him. They are needle felted from 100% wool with glass eyes. Their minute clothes are painstakingly made by hand, (even the tiny little knitted jumpers) and supplemented with carefully selected additions from the likes of Paul, Ken and Sindy dolls.
Jan makes one-off, slab-built ceramic pieces on a variety of scales. Her pieces are based largely on animals, particularly how they move, behave and how human societies throughout time have been compelled to bestow significance upon animals by producing images, objects, stories and mythologies. Jan also looks at secondary sources for ideas such as the stylised depiction of animals in heraldry, medieval stained glass windows and tapestries.
Christine creates ceramic sculptures with a mixture of crank bodied and stoneware clays where she is able to bring her research and sketches to life. The finished pieces are complimented by her own unique method of Raku and smoke firing which gives her work a distinctive style. Originally Christine's work expressed her interest in the movement and life of pigs, she has since developed her style and research to capture the beauty of many animals in our natural world. Christine's portfolio shows her commitment and love for fine art where the finished pieces express her natural ability to realise her research and observation.
After completing a Ceramics degree at Wolverhampton Virginia became an artist in residence at Edgbaston High School in Birmingham. It was whilst there that she began to exhibit at various galleries. Virginia was brought up in a very creative home and when she wasn't drawing, she was modelling dogs from plasticine. It was a childhood ambition to sculpt people’s pets when she grew up and she loves that she is now doing just that. Virginia has proclaimed that she is firstly a hound girl, but she hasn't found a breed of dog that she hasn’t liked. Virginia loves that a dog's face can be so expressive and by repositioning an ear or eyebrow it can change the whole look of a dog. Virginia has always loved dogs, ever since growing up alongside Tolly a Labrador Cross Irish Setter, who she sees in a lot of the dogs she makes as well as her own dogs Vegas and Wilf.
David is a sculptor of national repute who produces work for galleries and public spaces. Working in mild steel, stainless steel, bronze and cast-iron he creates a range of sculptures exploring landscapes with trees and animals. Over the years he has developed his work from raw assemblage with found objects to the much more refined pieces he now creates. David started using metal after visiting one of Sheffield’s many scrap yards whilst studying his fine art degree. He was instantly drawn to the colour and texture of discarded steel and the inherent quality it possessed. David has a lifelong passion with nature and landscape; living in Holmfirth near areas of stunning woodland, beautiful hills and moorland is a constant source of inspiration.
Based in the city of Bath Robin works in both 2D and 3D. His wire sculptures are a more recent project inspired by the lovely fluid lines of his lurcher and whippet. Making several popular studies of dogs constructed from black iron wire, Robin’s work is full of character and charm. Meanwhile his oil paintings often reflect his love of seafood and he also paints portraits.
Christine makes sculptures of wild and domestic beasts and birds in order to understand them better; their nature and behaviour. She has always wanted to portray animals naturalistically, in how they interact with us and each other and aims for accurate anatomy, with muscles and bone structure in the right place and in the right proportions. Christine finds it interesting to capture the different nuances and characteristics of different species and the different breeds within and challenges her understanding of that by having the subject move and turn as if it were alive. As soon as Christine studies a new subject she starts to fall in love with it, intrigued by its individuality and how she is going to convey that. In many ways, her sculptures are a form of devotion. Christine has a particular love for sight-hounds or long dogs, not least because their elegant proportions lends themselves to fluid sculptural shapes but also because of her own rescue greyhound and his calm and beautiful nature. Christine also has two short-legged rescue terriers who bring comedy and complete chaos to her days in equal measure.
Sarah’s lighthearted and humorous ceramic work is mainly slab built and she likes to keep the form very simple. She uses a range of stains, slips and under-glazes to build up colour on her pieces and then oxides and glazes enhance the textures. Her animal sculptures, much like her figurative work, centres around her careful observations of her subject and she loves the idea of trying to guess what is going on in their conversations or minds to create her own scenario.
Joanna creates hand built ceramic dogs full of character and personality. She also curates The Dog Show during Brighton Open Houses and the Brighton Festival in her Grade 2 listed central Brighton house, on weekends during May. Joanna works alongside Sally Muir and they have both made a career out their love of dogs. They are the co-authors of the best-selling Best In Show series of knitting books.
Since her early childhood Marieke has been aware of the relationship between humans and animals. The different relationships between the two have always been a great source of inspiration and subject of her work. Growing up in her mother's pottery workshop she soon found clay to be the perfect material to suit her rhythm of work. Even in those early days she remembers sculpting little animals. Later Marieke completed a Pottery Apprenticeship in Landshut, Germany then studied Ceramic Art at the University of Art and Design Burg Giebichenstein in Halle, Germany. A long process of studying animals, their behaviour and movement, and the human-animal relationships enabled her to sculpt freely and intuitively. Seldom using photos for the sculpting process, she prefers to use an image or a feeling from her mind to create her animal sculptures. Marieke believes that throughout history, animal metaphors have been used to express feelings and emotions and explore psychology and reasoning. They infiltrate our language and describe our behaviour. The animals she creates act as mediators for unconscious processes or to represent emotions; a yearning for nature, fierceness and freedom. Encasing some of her animal subjects in a thin box made of clay, almost like a manufactured cardboard box, she subtly suggests a human association. As well as providing a human context from which to view the animal, the box helps to focus attention, very much like a picture frame.
Michael has worked in stone, granite and marble for more than thirty years. He has over a hundred commissioned works on public view in the Far East and the UK and Ireland including Leeds. He has worked as a stonemason in Chester, lived and carved alongside the Shona carvers of Zimbabwe and carved marble in Japan. Recently he has worked in Jaipur carving sandstone and in Xiamen in China making large granite pieces for commissions. His impressive sculptures are carved with materials sourced from around the world and celebrates their stunning beauty. Michael has installed a series of granite sheep seats in Yorkshire, ‘Voyage of Discovery’ a two piece granite carving in Galway Bay Ireland and presented some larger stone trees at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show.
Heather grew up in the North East of Scotland, surrounded by hills and heather. As a child, many rainy days were spent scribbling and sketching or playing with bits of clay in her mum’s pottery studio. All of Heather’s pieces are wheel-thrown using stoneware or porcelain clay, which she then decorates using glazes, coloured slip, underglaze, or images of her linocut prints. Her background is in ecology and her passion for nature, wilderness and the outdoors plays a big part in her life which influences her work.
Alongside our Summer shows we also have stunning wallpieces by Rachel Thornton...
Rachel combines printmaking, painting and wood carving methods to create one off natural artworks. Rachel lives and works in the rural North Yorkshire town of High Bentham where inspiration is all around her. She graduated from a Fine Arts Degree in 2013 where she was awarded with the ArtLab Fellowship Award for her degree show, this was well received as it allowed her free access to the universities print studio for a year after graduation. Rachel now works with ambitious and experimental printmaking methods to create unique pieces that engage the imagination. Her illustrative style translates seamlessly into print methods. Rachel continuously experiments and expands on the methods and materials she uses. This love for experimentation has brought forth her own unique ways of creating, allowing her to develop a unique style and form.
Virginia Dowe Edwards