On Yer Doorstep
5th November 2016 - 7th January 2017
Celebrating award winning makers from around the region to showcase the talent that’s right on our doorstep and discovering the links makers have with Yorkshire. Featuring star of The Great Pottery Throw Down 2015 Sandra Whyles.
Emily is a ceramic artist and designer working from her studio in York, North Yorkshire. Since graduating from the University of Wales in 2007 Emily has concentrated on setting up her studio and continuing to develop her career in ceramics. Specialising in hand building and slip casting techniques she has always been fascinated by the juxtaposition of contrasting elements within her work. Placing different elements side by side such as glazed & unglazed, patterned & unpatterned, leaving it up to the viewer to establish connections and impose a meaning. She is constantly sketching, drawing and collaging to experiment with line, colour texture and mark making and loves translating this process into clay and developing the relationship between simple vessel forms and complex surface decoration.
Rowena has been making and studying ceramics since her schooldays. She has a degree in fashion design from St Martin’s School of Art, London, and has worked in fashion design for 8 years. She then spent two years living in California where she developed her ceramics full-time and discovered and learnt the process of raku-firing. Her current work is hand built architectural forms which are coloured with slips, part-glazed and earthenware or raku fired. Much of the work is evocative of abandonment. Although individually dark, empty and isolated, when grouped together they appear to form their own community, evoking human interaction and suggesting a human presence by its absence. “The inspiration for my work comes both from media images showing the aftermath of man-made disruption and environmental disaster, and also from time spent in coastal areas particularly on Hebridean islands, taking photographs of weather-worn and derelict structures. The ceramic process; particularly the rapid and unpredictable nature of raku (where the red hot ceramic is plunged into combustible material) reinforces a sense of destruction and irrevocable change. The pieces show a real and implied history acquired by their passage through fire and smoke. Yet they how have a stillness and solitude. They become vessels for reminiscence and contemplation.”
Chris is a folk artist from Cheshire and draws his influence from both his own observations of birds and early decoys of North America. He has a strong belief in the simplicity of line, form and colour which direct the final and original designs for which he is best known for both at home and abroad. Multi-award winning artist Chris Hindley has won, and continues to win, prestigious awards for his wooden art. These include the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art Birds Illustrated Award and three awards of excellence, highly commended in 2 of the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Awards, twice winner of best in show, best in open and interpretative carving at the British Decoy and Wildfowl Carving Association, four time winner of working decoy and three awards of excellence at the National Wildlife Carving Exhibition to mention just a few.
Leeds visual artist and maker Sandra Whyles never believed that she would be one of ten ceramicists on a BBC2 programme about pottery (The Great Pottery Throw Down). “If you had asked me 5 years ago I would have laughed at the ridiculousness of me being part of such a venture.” Sandra started pottery evening classes in 1999 a few months after the birth of her last child. Coming from a creative family she went from evening classes in pottery to study an MA in fine art and has been making functional and decorative pottery for the last 5 years. Having her studio has helped her to develop her skills in working with clay. The show has helped Sandra’s art practice improve and has increased her profile as a potter. She has since held pottery classes for beginners and improvers and there has been a healthy interest in the classes. “It is satisfying to bring pottery to the creative lives of others. The show has certainly changed the face of pottery in the UK and I am proud to be part of initiating that positive change and promotion of pottery.”
Award winning ceramicist Rebecca Appleby explores the palimpsest nature of structural decay. Her sculptural ceramics examine contemporary urban archaeology through her forms & textural investigations. Collecting abandoned or overlooked fragments both physically & photographically of urban life, Rebecca collates the discarded or neglected materials & remnants. Be it car-parts, an undistinguished bridge or the instructive markings left by workmen; the shape, form, line & texture is echoed in the works becoming a record of her personal relationship with the city. During the construction of each sculpture, particular emphasis is placed both formally and conceptually on balancing structure, order, control and the antithesis of nature & organic expression. The forms are constructed using slabs of clay with a particular focus on curves, edges and joints. The multi-layered marks and textures used are symbolic of surfaces encountered in the urban landscape; lines and grids juxtapose erratic marks and random, organic spontaneous references.
Explore our Meet the Maker event with local artist Sandra Whyles from Saturday 19th November 2016.
We welcomed Sandra to the gallery on Saturday 19th November in her exciting Meet the Maker event. Visitors were able to talk with Sandra about the inspirations behind her beautiful ceramics on display in the gallery until the 7th January as part of our Christmas showcase On Yer Doorstep celebrating Yorkshire makers. Sandra also brought along a collection of her sketchbooks for visitors to browse through and shared her experiences of being part of the BBC's Great Pottery Throw Down last year.
If you missed the event we took some snaps and a video of the day which you can browse through.
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