Alison Britton has returned to making pots after a year of working on her book, Seeing Things, Collected Writing on Art, Craft and Design. (Occasional Papers, 2013.)
Picking up the threads in the studio she has resolved to work with a basic simplicity, making a series of tall jars, painted white and black over the buff clay body. Her casual mode of slab building, the balanced irregularity of planes, columns, cut off cones, and facets, is still in play. Pouring slip, a loosely controlled process, continues to be important, as well as working with a brush. The pours run over the tall vertical planes and make their own shapes, which Britton responds to with brush marks and incisions.
The show brings together these new pots and Jim Partridge’s newest vessels, many of them also featuring irregular planes and black and white surfaces but in his case created by scorching and bleaching carved wood. Also included in the show will be one or two larger pieces of carved and scorched furniture by Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley.
The exhibition, then, is a conversation about the forms that emerge from Britton’s and Partidge’s experience of knowing and working their materials over decades. Perhaps here, through the use of the monochrome palette of burnt and bleached wood, and white and black slip, they are also accentuating the discourse of wood and clay. This will be the inaugural exhibition at our new premises in Shoreditch.
Alison Britton (b. 1948) is one of the most important figures in British ceramics. Britton studied at the Central School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art and is highly regarded at a writer, curator and lecturer, as well as a ceramic artist. Her work has been exhibited internationally and can be seen in major public collections worldwide. She was awarded an OBE in 1990 for her services to the applied arts and is a senior tutor at the RCA.
Jim Partridge and his partner Liz Walmsley have worked together designing and making furniture and other functional woodwork for more than 20 years. Projects and commissions have included furniture, site specific installation and architectural features for both private and public clients. The work has twice been shortlisted for the Jerwood Furniture prize and can be seen in many public collections.