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Five Ceramists

KENSUKE FUJIYOSHI

Kensuke produces traditional Japanese porcelain tableware, as well as his own special brand of miniature figurines, sculptures and boxes in fine porcelain.  His artwork is based on the inherited Japanese culture of traditional handicrafts known as Hizen-touji, the traditional technique of porcelain making which has been based in the northern part of Kyushu, called ‘Old Amari’ or Arita’, for hundreds of years. His modern take on the figures and boxes produced there over the centuries, uses the same modelling and porcelain making skills, but adds his own special wit and love of the natural world to give us his unique covetable creations.

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Roger Law

Roger Law used to be famous. He was the evil genius behind the mocking caricature puppets of Spitting Image, the award winning TV series. When the satire bubble burst Law transported himself to Australia where he began to draw and paint from nature. A growing interest in ceramics had him move to Jingdezhen, China’s ‘porcelain city’ where the Chinese have made porcelain for over two thousand years. He draws directly onto roughly thrown porcelain, which is then carved back to create dense reliefs of animals from both Chinese mythology and the extraordinary sea creatures around the Australian coast.His new spectacular ceramic creations are as witty and beautiful as his caricatures were rude and ugly.

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Rupert Merton

Rupert began his artistic journey making ceramics, first at school, then as an apprentice at Tingewick Pottery near Buckingham before studying for an MA in Art History at Cambridge. After university he set up a music recording and publishing business and spent the next 15 years working with musicians such as The Thompson Twins and Underworld. Finding clay more malleable, he returned to ceramics and an art school degree course in ceramic design at South Thames college. He now works mainly in stoneware and porcelain, which is fired in an electric kiln. “I make some domestic ware and larger, more sculptural pieces. His installations occupy “a space in my mind somewhere between painting and music – they reference the urge to collect and explore rhythm, repetition and colour.” The component forms are both different and the same – the simplified bottle shape forming the basis for his vibrant and popular Pothecary series.

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Myung Nam AN

A striking curtain of ‘Eyes’ suggests organic forms that we think we recognize. Each one different, reminiscent of flowers and sea urchins, some, such as the Golden Eye series, refecting ourselves back from their centres. Myung Nam-an is a fan of Alexander McQueen, encasing her circular forms in extravagant and impossible costumes. Why eyes? Because they are all intensely personal, unique to the individual, in the words of the artist “incredibly intricate, detailed, beautiful, bright, colourful, exciting, funky.” The wall–mounted multiples are inspired by Dali’s surrealist curtain in Hitchcock’s Spellbound, but without the creepy shock factor. Some have ‘eyelashes’, soft and tactile to look at, yet all made of intricately formed ceramic. You want to touch her sculptures, to collect them and arrange them.

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KATHY RUTTENBERG

The fairy-tale sculptures of Chicago-born, NY State based artist Kathy Ruttenberg inhabit an allegorically charged world of unconscious drives, Ovidian transformations and feminist-inflected narratives. Described by Donald Kuspit as “perhaps the most creative, certainly unusual, ceramic art being made today,” Ruttenberg’s work is populated with women sprouting or metamorphosing into trees, flowers, birds, snails, deer and crabs. “The tools for my work are fire, earth and emotions,” Ruttenberg writes. “This mix makes an interesting cocktail of allegory and symbolism, with an odd twist of nature. In my world, where the wind blows with intensity, animals and humans often share the moment.” This first showing of her work in the UK reveals the richness and craft of her intensely evocative personal and universal mythology.

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