Derek Wilson’s practice centres on the making of a diverse range of contemporary objects, from the functional to the sculptural. The potter’s wheel is his predominant tool, but his work is never static and in some ways reflects the multifarious identities of contemporary ceramics, achieving a twenty-first century hybridization of the studio potter and the conceptual artist.
EDUCATION: 2005 – 2007 University of Ulster, Belfast, M.A. Applied Arts, Ceramics; 2001 – 2002 Crafts Council of Ireland, Ceramic Design Skills Course, Kilkenny; 1996 – 1999 University of Ulster, Belfast, B.A. Honours Fine and Applied Arts, Ceramics; 1995 – 1996 Bournemouth and Poole College of Art & Design, Foundation Studies; AWARDS: 2012 Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Major Individual Artists Award; 2007 Craft NI, Making It Programme; 2007 Craft Council of Irelands 3rd Level Postgraduate Award; 2006 Richard K Degenhardt – Beleek Collectors Scholarship; COMMISSIONS: 2008 25 Piece porcelain tea-set, Chief executive of the Arts Council for the boardroom, Mac Neice House, Malone Road, Belfast; RESIDENCIES 2008 Guldagergaard Ceramic Research Centre, Denmark; RECENT EXHIBITIONS: 2020 COLLECT – Somerset House, London; 2020 Hauser & Wirth, London – A Presentation by MAKE; 2020 Hauser & Wirth MAKE , Somerset – Dis/rupt [solo show]; 2019 Hauser & Wirth MAKE , Somerset – In Dialogue with David Gates; 2019 FLOW Gallery @ St Peters Church Cambridge – Vessels of Influence; 2019 SO Fine Art- Dublin- Painters + Makers; 2019 Central St Martins- Ceramic Art, London; 2018 Patina FK, Fukuoka, Japan [solo show]; 2018 Curators Cube, Tokyo, Japan [solo show]; 2018 Gilman Barracks, Singapore – Wallpaper* Handmade Retreat; 2018 Flow Gallery, London – Constructed Vessel [solo show]; 2017 AD Gallery, Antwerp – A Vase is a Vase is a Vase; 2017 Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast – Abstracted Alignment [solo show]; 2017 Contemporary Ceramics, London – Assembled Space; 2017 Central St. Martin’s – Ceramic Art London; 2016 Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall; 2016 Oliver Sears Gallery, London – In Residence; 2016 NCG, Kilkenny – Vase, Function Reviewed; 2016 Devon Guild of Craftsmen – Line Up; 2015 Contemporary Applied Arts, London – Present & Correct; 2015 DCOI, Milan, New York, Dublin, Eindhoven – Liminal; 2015 Flow Gallery, London – Line up; 2015 Royal College of Art, London – Ceramic Art; 2014 London Design Festival, LDF – Weathering; 2014 Ruthin Gallery, Denbighshire –‘As William Morris Said’; 2014 Gallery SO, Dublin – Interplay; 2014 Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin – Centred; 2014 Contemporary Applied Arts, London – Craft into Industry; 2014 Wallpaper* Handmade – New York; 2013 Art Basel, Miami – Wallpaper*, Handmade; 2013 Stoke on Trent Ceramics Biennale – Craft into Industry; 2013 Harrods, Brompton Road, London – Wallpaper* Handmade; 2013 Stoke on Trent Ceramics Biennale – Craft into Industry; 2013 Gallery 13, Tent London, LDF – CCOI, Vernacular; 2013 Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin – Future Makers; 2013 Royal College of Art, London – Ceramic Art; 2013 Brown Thomas, Dublin – Icon; 2013 NCG, Kilkenny – Future Makers; 2013 Justis Lipsus Building, Brussels – A Place to Gather; 2012 Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast – Outside and Between; 2012 Contemporary Applied Arts, London – Focus Showcase; 2012 London Design Festival, Shoreditch – A Place to Gather; 2012 Contemporary Applied Arts, London – domesticMATTERS; 2012 Salone del Mobile, Milan – Wallpaper* ‘Handmade’ at Brioni; 2012 Oxford Ceramics Gallery – Porcelain; 2012 Contemporary Ceramics, London – For the Table; 2012 Royal College of Art, London – Ceramic Art; 2011 Gallery Top, Derbyshire – New Domestic Ceramics; 2011 Origin, Spitalfields, London; 2011 Cultural Connections, Collect in the Country, Guest of the Danes, Henley on Thames; 2011 Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin – Transform; 2011 Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London – Represented by the National Craft Gallery; 2011 4th Biennale Internationale Du Lin De Portneuf, Quebec; 2011 Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield – Artists Showcase; 2011 Royal College of Art, London – Ceramic Art; 2010 Origin, Spitalfields, London; 2010 Cultural Connections, Collect in the Country, Guest of the Danes, Henley on Thames; 2010 Roundhouse, Wigmore Street, (London Design Festival) Ceramics+; 2010 Leach Pottery and Museum, St Ives – FUNKtional; 2010 RBSA Gallery, Birmingham – The Art of Dining; 2010 Ruthin Craft Centre Gallery, Ruthin, 20:10; 2010 Royal College of Art, London – Ceramic Art;
My ideas spring from a complex blending of the abstract to the familiar, evident in both the functional ware and sculpture that I make. My objects, in their colour, shape and materiality, reference the ideas of restraint, containment and minimalism. My search for a simplicity of form draws inspiration upon a diverse range of sources from mid-century British Constructivism to the history of the ceramic industry in Europe and Asia. I work in celadon glazed porcelain and stoneware and my objects, whether they are made to be used or not, tend to be placed in groupings – evoking communality and sociability. My aim is to push the boundaries of a traditional and diverse artform through playing with its aesthetics, materiality and processes. Fundamentally, my work is essentially made to be used in everyday life.