Artwork

A small selection of my ceramic artwork in roughly chronological order. 

 Setomonogatari 5 – Iga to Nagasaki (2016)
Porcelain, glaze, pink lustre, ceramic decals, glass, mixed media,
 Approx. 45 x 24 x 22 cm, Photo: Jo Howell, 2016
Work made for the exhibition Walking Poets: Wordsworth and Basho, based on my research in Seto, Japan.


Setomonogatari 6 – The Ruined Cottage (2016)
Porcelain, glaze, pink lustre, ceramic decals, glass, mixed media, 
Approx. 43 x 24 x 22 cm, Photo: Jo Howell, 2016
Work made for the exhibition Walking Poets: Wordsworth and Basho, based on my research in Seto, Japan.


Seto Monogatari 1 (2015), reverse
Porcelain, ceramic decals, pink lustre, approx. 28 x 23 x 18 cm.
Photo: Seto City Cultural Promotion Foundation, 2016
Work made during my participation in the Seto International Ceramic & Glass Art Exchange Program in Seto, Japan, between November-December 2015

Seto Monogatari 4 – Fortune (2015)
Red clay, ceramic decals, stains, mixed media, approx. 20 x 34 x 70 cm
Photo: Seto City Cultural Promotion Foundation, 2016
Work made during my participation in the Seto International Ceramic & Glass Art Exchange Program in Seto, Japan, between November-December 2015.

Flotsam and Jetsam (Portmanteau) (2014) 
Porcelain, terracotta, ceramic decals, glass mixed media, 
120 x 60 x 50 cm, Photo: Colin Davison, 2014

This piece formed part of Wordsworth and Bashō: Walking Poets, an exhibition of original manuscripts and contemporary art organised by the University of Sunderland at the Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere. My installation was inspired by a verse from Wordsworth’s The Ruined Cottage and a haiku from The Narrow Road to the Deep North composed by Basho when he visited the abandoned castle at Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, in 1689. The piece aims to compare and contrast the poets’ approaches to memory and the ephemerality of the human condition. It is also inspired by the ad hoc memorials which developed in devastated settlements in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011. In The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Basho visited Ishinomaki, a fishing settlement which was badly affected by this disaster, before walking to Hiraizumi, the site of the ruined castle. This site is approximately 40 miles inland of Kesennuma and Rikuzentakata, both coastal towns devastated by the tsunami.

Flotsam and Jetsam (Portmanteau) (2014), detail
Porcelain, terracotta, ceramic decals, glass mixed media, 120 x 60 x 50 cm
Photo: Colin Davison, 2014

Flotsam and Jetsam (Portmanteau) (2014), detail
Porcelain, terracotta, ceramic decals, glass mixed media, 120 x 60 x 50 cm
Photo: Colin Davison, 2014


A selection of vessels from the George Brown Series (2013)
Porcelain, glaze, pink lustre, ceramic decals, mixed media, various sizes
Photo: Jo Howell, 2014

This series was inspired the George Brown Collection, an assemblage of over 3000 ethnographic items collected by the Barnard Castle-born missionary while he was in the South Pacific. George Brown worked in Sunderland in the early part of his life and the collection was owned by Newcastle University before being sold to the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan, in 1986. In 2013, I was awarded an AHRC international placement to research the collection in Japan. The form of these vessels references the collection’s Solomon Island lime containers.

Clock - George Brown Series (2015)
Porcelain, glaze, pink lustre, ceramic decals, mixed media, Approx. 17.5 x 14 x 10.5 cm
Photo: Jo Howell, 2016

Osaka - George Brown Series (2013) 
Porcelain, glaze, pink lustre, ceramic decals, mixed media, 
Approx. 17.5 x 14 x 10.5 cm, Photo: Jo Howell, 2014


Kobe - George Brown Series (2013) 
Porcelain, glaze, pink lustre, ceramic decals, mixed media, 
Approx. 25.5 x 14 x 10 cm, Photo: Jo Howell, 2014

I documented my 3 month residency in Japan with Instagram, a photo-sharing application. This digital information was materialised in the form of decoration on these porcelain vessels. The close-ups show how the decals sink into stamped recesses on the surface.

Awaza 2 - George Brown Series (2013)
Porcelain, glaze, pink lustre, ceramic decals, mixed media, 
approx. 25.5 x 12 x 10 cm, Photo: Jo Howell, 2014

This vessel features imagery inspired by some of the many printed bark cloths in the George Brown Collection.

Headhunter - George Brown Series (2013) 
Porcelain, glaze, pink lustre, ceramic decals, mixed media, 
approx. 22.5 x 12 x 7 cm, Photo: Jo Howell, 2014

Some of the lime containers in the collection were made after contact with Europeans and depicted scenes of encounter between colonisers and the originating communities. My vessels address this hybridization by blending contemporary and historical imagery.

Crinson Jug Mark 2 (2013) Porcelain, glaze, pink lustre, ceramic decals,
mixed media, 19 x 17 x 14 cm, Photo: Jo Howell, 2014

This jug was made as part of my doctoral research in collaboration with Mr Howard Forster, a descendant of the Crinson family of potters who worked in the Sunderland potteries in the 18th and 19th centuries. The jug traces his relationship to the family, focusing on John Henry Crinson, a soldier of the Durham Light Infantry who was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Swift and Bold Jug (2013)
Porcelain, glaze, pink lustre, ceramic decals, mixed media
19 x 17 x 14 cm, Photo: Jo Howell, 2014

The surface decoration on this jug was derived from a focus group held with Wearside-born soldiers from Third Battalion, The Rifles. It represents the soldiers’ lucky charms and commemorative tattoos.

Grow Jesus, Stage 5 (2013) Stoneware, porcelain, glaze, decals, pink lustre, 
22.5 x 14 x 8 cm, Photo: Jo Howell, 2014

As part of my PhD, I worked with Wearside-born soldiers from Third Battalion, The Rifles, to make a series of work which commemorated their tour in Afghanistan. One soldier told me how he had passed time by periodically growing and shrinking an expanding plastic Jesus toy sent to him by a member of the public. This work, consisting of several porcelain casts mounted in stoneware shrines, recreates this process by capturing the figure’s growth in ceramic. Referencing the presence of much religious imagery in the original Sunderland pottery, this also attempts to create an alternative monument, addressing the soldier’s embodied experiences of combat in Afghanistan. Stage 5 is the largest cast.



Rifleman Hiles’ IED Brush (2013) Porcelain, pink lustre, ceramic decals, mixed media, 
21 x 7 x 2 cm, Photo: Jo Howell, 2014

This is a ceramic interpretation of the real paintbrush used by Rifleman Hiles to excavate ‘roadside bombs’ on his tour of Afghanistan with Third Battalion, The Rifles. Each time he found a device, he marked his brush with a tally.
The Heart of Jack Crawford (2013) 
Porcelain, pink lustre, ceramic decals, glass, mixed media. 
37 x 14 x 14 cm, Photo: Jo Howell, 2014

This piece recreates in ceramic and glass a specimen described as ‘The Heart of Jack Crawford’ which was donated to the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens in 1882. Sunderland-born sailor Jack Crawford distinguished himself by repeatedly risking his life to nail Admiral Duncan’s colours to the mast during the Battle of Camperdown (1797). Initially fêted nationally for his bravery, Crawford died tragically of cholera in 1831. His heart is no longer part of the collection and its authenticity has been questioned. Nevertheless, the story provided inspiration to make a series of works celebrating this neglected local hero.