27th May 2023 - 23rd June 2023

Chris Keenan - 2023 Ceramic Collection - Clay on Clay, Glaze on Glaze

Ceramicist Chris Keenan is known for the simple, elegant form and pure colour of his hand thrown Limoges porcelain. In this new collection of close to 100 pieces, comprised of individual works, sets of beakers, small groups of rocking bowls and pairings of bottles, he continues the exploration of forms, colour combinations and surface details that are central to his practice. Pure celadon blues, in both pale and deeper shades, are exhibited alongside the black and rust of Tenmoku in a variation of finishes, from mirror and silk to matt. Surface details are brushed, striped and sponged in a variety of colours, including a striking orange-red glaze, in different orders on different works, resulting in an increasingly organic and unpredictable array of finishes.

“The relationship that develops between an artist and a gallery over a period of many years is special, and I have been showing at New Craftsman Gallery, where I am trusted to give the best I can for each show, bi-annually for the last fifteen years. The lexicon of forms that I have been exploring throughout my making life will be represented again in this show: these are pots for both use and ornament. Clarity of form is still very important to my work, but what’s new in this collection are clay on clay additions which expand the tactile experience and the surface interest of a piece. I’ve been working in my own studio for 25 years now, so I’m a quarter of a century into my life as a maker. I’m still improving technically and feel I’ve not yet reached ‘peak pot’ - I’m still learning, still questioning through process, and the repetition that has been such an integral part of my making continues to spur my intent. But I’m also at a stage where I’m thinking about how the remainder of my making life might look. Now seems a good time to consider future directions”.

Chris Keenan, 2023

Chris Keenan is perhaps the most accomplished maker of domestic porcelain to emerge in the 21st century.  His work is refined, yet practical, with a certain playfulness.  The first apprentice of Edmund de Waal - whose domestic porcelain provided an example - Keenan has developed his own distinctive range of unfussy shapes, complemented by celadon and tenmoku glazes and simple graphic decoration." Alun Graves (Excerpt from 'Studio Ceramics")