My work uses a single pure jar form as a canvas to map my observations from an ongoing study of my surroundings. I incorporate stone and locally dug clay into my work to create a narrative, one that conveys a unique sense of place. The unpredictable nature of each jar comes from the inclusions and their metamorphosis during firing. This individuality and tension between materials speaks of the human condition and how the landscape shapes us as individuals. Landscapes have inspired artists for generations but for me a landscape has to be felt. To depict it is always going to fall short. I was inspired by archaeological theories that the Menhirs of prehistory are a veneration of the landscapes that surrounds them. With my site-specific work I too am venerating the landscape. By placing a Jar at a particular location within the landscape I hope that it will make us look beyond the object to its surroundings. My work is also about change, about natural cycles and the trence of human endeavour. Part of my 'Earth to Earth' project is to illustrate one cycle as a metaphor for all. I placed a raw, unfired Jar at the top of Carn Treliwyd in Pembrokeshire. Made from the earth; the wind and rain will return it back to the earth. Clay in turn is created from the weathering of igneous rocks upon which this unfired Jar stands.
Paths are a motif I use to represent my actual and metaphoric journeys through a place. To understand a landscape is to move through it, to give it context. Paths are like common routes of experience, guiding us through the landscape. They are connections through time, to others and to the land. Ultimately my work is about being present within a landscape. The shapes I throw are based on Moon Jars an ancient Korean form originally made from plain white porcelain.At the time they represented the epitome of the austere Confucian virtues of purity, honesty and modesty. I was so inspired by this pure form that I now use it as the composition for my work. This celestial form is for me symbolic of the planet, my fascination with landscape and how humans have utilised and perceived it. The shapes I throw are based on Moon Jars (dal hang-ari) a Korean form from the Choson dynasty (1392-1910) originally made from plain white porcelain. At the time they represented the epitome of the austere Confucian virtues of purity, honesty and modesty. Because of their form they were also thought to represent the embracing, gentle qualities of woman and fertility.
Park Youngsook, the only modern exponent of Korean Moon Jars, points out the difficult and exact skills needed in throwing the two halves that make up the completed Jar. Furthermore a careful firing schedule is needed at high temperatures to fuse them successfully. This simple form revered by the Korean people for hundreds of years still resonates today, admired by all who see them. Housed in the British Museum is a Moon Jar that Bernard Leach brought back from Seoul, one of only ten originals in existence. Leach and his contemporaries in Japan admired it for its lack of self-consciousness, and the beauty of its slight imperfections. I was also struck by these qualities, its serenity and simplicity. I was so inspired by that Moon Jar that for the past four years I have made nothing else, not to replicate it exactly but more to capture the ephemeral qualities that the form resonated. Keeping the Confucian virtues in mind I now use this pure form as the composition for my work.
Education 2004-2006 Crafts Council of Ireland Ceramics Design and Skills Course. 2002-2003 West Wales School of Art, Carmarthen. 1998-2001 BA (Joint Hons.) Archaeology and Anthropology, Lampeter University Exhibitions 2017 Material: Earth, Messums Wiltshire Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London 2016 British Craft: The Miami Edit Inclusions, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh Fool's Gold, Contemporary Ceramics Centre, London Joanna Bird, London Beaux Arts, Bath Raw Earth, Corvi Mora, London 2015 Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London Thin Place, Oriel Myrddin, Carmarthen Real to Reel, Crafts council touring exhibition Fragile? National Museum Cardiff 2014 Beaux Arts, Bath The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh Cornish Series, New Craftsman, St.Ives Ruthin Craft Centre 2013 Corvi-Mora, London Moon Jar: Contemporary Translations endashKCC, London Jerwood Makers Open 2012 Create, Observe, Preform. Alkovi Gallery, Helsinki, Finland Atencioni, Buenos Aires, Argentina Chelsea flower show, London Dewisland, Tenby Museum and Art Galllery, Tenby Artists in Residence, Oriel Y Parc, St.Davids Earth, Ruthin Craft Centre Ceramic Art London, RCA, London Modern Masters, Munich, Germany 2011 Figure in the Landscape, The Discovery Centre, Winchester Insight into Beauty II, Embassy of Japan, London Bloomsbury Art Fair, London Contemporary Craft Festival, Bovey Tracey, Devon Close to Nature, New Brewery Arts, Cirencester 2010 Little and Large, Contemporary Ceramics, London Welsh Artist of the Year Exhibition, St.Davids Hall, Cardiff Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, Mayfair, London Garden Gallery, Hampshire 2009 Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow Origin: The London Craft Fair. Somerset House, London 20:10, Ruthin Craft Center 2008 Harlequin Gallery, London The Albany Gallery, Cardiff 2006 National Craft Gallery of Ireland, Kilkenny Collections 2016 The British Museum 2015 Crafts Council UK 2014 Chatsworth House 2013 Oriental Museum, Durham 2012 National Museum Cardiff Awards 2017 Creative Wales Award, Arts Council of Wales 2013 Jerwood Maker Open Ceramic Review Award 2011 Arts Council of Wales research grant 2010 Invited Professional Member of the Craft Potters Association 2009 Arts Council of Wales project grant to exhibit at Origin 2013 Stare, Contemplate and wonder, Ceramic Review: Issue 263 2012 The Landscape of Wales, Ceramic Review: Issue 258 2011 Ceramics in Wales, Ceramic Art and Perception: Issue 85 Creative Edge, Garden Design Journal: Issue 107 2010 Glaze of Glory, Financial Times: How To Spend It. Christmas edition Bloomfield, Linda. Advanced Pottery. Robert Hale Ltd. 2009 Searching for perfection, Ceramic Review: Issue 240 2009 Advertising campaign for Origin Publication 2013 Stare, Contemplate and wonder, Ceramic Review: Issue 263 2012 The Landscape of Wales, Ceramic Review: Issue 258 2011 Ceramics in Wales, Ceramic Art and Perception: Issue 85 Creative Edge, Garden Design Journal: Issue 107 2010 Glaze of Glory, Financial Times: How To Spend It. Christmas edition Bloomfield, Linda. Advanced Pottery. Robert Hale Ltd. 2009 Searching for perfection, Ceramic Review: Issue 240 2009 Advertising campaign for Origin