For those thinking there’s not much to see in the way of Visual Arts now the Leeds Art Gallery has temporarily closed for refurbishment, The Craft Centre and Design Gallery, based just underneath the Art Gallery, is proving a popular place for visitors to explore Contemporary Craft. With a seasonal exhibition programme highlighting the best of British talent for the last 34 years, the Craft Centre is certainly making its mark on the Visual Arts Scene in Leeds.
This May they highlight the work of 3 exciting emerging makers in the field of ceramics in a show called Beneath the Surface. Started on the 3rd May, this exciting show coincides with National Craft & Design Month, first launched in 2011 by craft&design magazine, supporting and promoting designer makers and small creative businesses across Britain. Visitors making purchases of individual items over £10 on Saturdays in May can take advantage of receiving double stamps on their loyalty cards as part of this month’s celebrations.
For more information on any of the Craft Centre’s shows and events visit their website www.craftcentreleeds.co.uk
The Craft Centre and Design Gallery,
City Art Gallery, Leeds, LS1 3AB.
Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Please contact the gallery approaching Bank Holidays for revised opening hours.
“My work explores the layered landscapes and sea-washed, weatherworn surfaces of the British coastline. Marks, lines and diffuse merging colours are built up, cut through and dissolved away.
The repeatedly worked surfaces of clay and print are under constant revision, referencing the endless remaking of the shore. Vessel pieces are formed using a hybrid making technique of slip-casting and throwing. Within an open plaster mould I build layers of printed, poured and painted casting slips, overlaying colours on the porous surface. These designs are incorporated into a cast shell of clay, before mould and cast are fixed centrally to a throwing wheel. A partially thrown cylinder of plastic clay is joined to the cut rim of the still-moulded cast and fully thrown out. The presence of the mould allows the formation of a flange of clay that accentuates the join and breaks away in pleasingly irregular fragments as the piece shrinks and pulls inwards.”
“Working in ceramics, my current practice is inspired by traditional gardening tools and processes, and the simple beauty they possess. Funnels, sieves, watering can roses and seed packets gathered from my grandfather’s shed all offer a sense of longevity, with worn surfaces and unchanged forms.
I enjoy exploring ideas through mark making and the simple beauty of these implements is considered through detailed observation of surface pattern. I use a variety of decorating techniques to paint onto my ceramic pieces with slips, achieving worn and layered surfaces. Alongside this, established processes of sowing, cultivating, watering and harvesting are explored within the collection. Pierced bowls hint at sieving and watering, whilst narrow dishes mimic the furrows created to plant seeds. Each ceramic piece captures the essence of a different activity while surfaces layered with marks, earthy colours and familiar forms evoke the timelessness of the rural garden. My present collection comprises of a series of stoneware and earthenware thrown bowls, press moulded platters and press mould dishes.”
“I work in porcelain creating ceramics with subtle surface qualities.
Applying layers of colour, lines and marks which richly animate the surface of the clay, I draw from the landscapes I have connected with. Beginning by observing the transitional nature of light, my paintings form the basis of a narrative, reflecting a sense of place. I treat the clay as a canvas; imagery is transcribed onto a collection of cylindrical forms; thin, delicate and light to reflect the fragile quality of porcelain.”