Parian porcelain with embedded and partially obscured baroque decorative elements.
What wond’rous life in this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons as I pass,
Ensnar’d with flow’rs, I fall on grass.
(Andrew Marvell The Garden)
A garniture of beauty and decay
This collection explores the transience of beauty and the vulnerability of excess. Inspired by the melancholy opulence of 17th century Dutch vanitas paintings, and the tragic allure of Dickens' Satis House, I aim to capture the fragile moment when abundance turns to decay.
An exuberance of decoration disrupts the vases' forms, implying deterioration and ruin. Frozen in time just as disintegration begins, the vases represent an ornamental memento mori, hinting at the impermanence of material existence and the inevitable decline of beauty.
My work Medical Heirlooms explores the stigma of diseases, questioning contemporary obsessions with perfection and beauty. I have been manipulating the ceramic material in a way that emulates physiological processes, deliberately encouraging ‘faults’, ‘defects’ and ‘blemishes.’ These features add visual and tactual interest to the vessels, and are intended to mirror the interest and individuality that can be added to a person’s appearance by scars, flaws or deformities from medical conditions (their health legacy).
Based on 17th -18th century apothecary jars, the forms have strong historical and medical links, as well as providing the metaphor of vessel as body: they become containers for disease, rather than holding the cure. As family heirlooms, the jars can be passed down through the generations in the same way as hereditary medical conditions.
This work explores erosion and the disruption of form. Focusing on biological erosion, I wanted to convey the idea of a host being attacked and eaten away by a parasitic virus, highlighting the creeping spread of the infection as it corrupts the body.
I have produced a series of angular porcelain forms, sandblasted to wear the surface and reveal inner strata. This aggressive process, contrarily, creates a delicate vulnerability in the shape. The translucency of the porcelain and the interruption of the surface make it possible to glimpse through to layers beneath, creating a tension between the seen and the obscured.
The Fetish of Health
Ritual, Gesture and Object
A reinterpretation of the domestic health and beauty toolkit, examining our psychological relationship with these objects and the fetishistic qualities they acquire.
Materials: Porcelain, Video and Mixed Materials
In collaboration with historian Betsy Lewis-Holmes for Making Enhanced, launched at Collect Open 2015 in the Saatchi Gallery.
Parallel Practices research project supported by the Crafts Council and King's College London
This collaborative project explores how anatomy can be understood as a series of transformations, focusing on the different layers of material, developmental and dimensional processes involved. The novel approach is to view anatomy as an act rather than a topic of study, through interpreting the transformative acts of preservation, digitisation, dissection, reassembly and display. In parallel, we are examining the mechanics and aesthetics of physical transformations involved in ceramics, and what these can convey metaphorically and physically through texture, surface, structure and form.
In collaboration with:
Dr Richard Wingate (Head of Anatomy, KCL)
Professor Malcolm Logan (Randall Division of Cell & Molecular Biology, KCL)
Dr Gillian Sales (Curator, Museum of Life Sciences, KCL)
Photographs by: Aisha Al Saif, Jay Dacey, Jacqueline Garget
Time and Transition
This project is about metamorphosis and aesthetic ambiguity: a future rococo paradise where beauty and ornament become sinister and destructive. The porcelain vase, representing a safe and familiar domestic object, transcends the decorative into the realm of the uncanny. Elements of decoration come alive and burst out from the confines of the vase's form, impinging on the surrounding space. A gothic vision where everything is in flux: the static becomes dynamic; the inert, active; and the everyday, extraordinary. In this reverie, perverse beauty resides in forgotten corners and our accepted daily constants undergo unexpected movement and change.
A set of cups that appear to have been infected and colonised by bacteria
The raw clay for these cups was contaminated with various ‘foreign’ materials, to mimic the growth and multiplication of bacterial colonies. Bringing the microscopic to the macroscopic level, the contamination spread in an uncontrollable way during firing.
Slumping and warping are effects the ceramic industry usually strives to avoid. By encouraging random distortion during firing, I aimed to exploit the unique character of bone china and challenge the view of what is 'right' or 'wrong' in ceramics. What could be seen as a fault becomes a feature, giving rise to the possibility of mass-produced individuality.
The design is based on traditional Chinese paper lanterns. I wanted to recreate the concertina effect of these lanterns using bone china, thereby giving the impression of malleability and movement in a hard, static material. The pieces start off symmetrical but subsequently warp in a unique way, each one caught at a different point of collapse: no two lights are the same.