Thursday, 31 October 2013

Elephant in the room

Looking around at elephants and popular culture, I remembered this work by our favourite son of Bristol, Banksy. 
Exhibited as part of Barely Legal, a live elephant was hand painted in a pink and gold chintz motif echoing the wallpaper of the room in which it was allowed to roam free during the show. 'Elephant in the room' is a metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. In this case Banksy aims to draw public attention to world poverty.

Barely Legal. Los Angeles 2006

This unsettling transposition of an instantly recognisable pattern onto an incongruous object, holds a resonance with the use of the traditional willow pattern in my current work.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Elephants on Parade

The collective noun for a group of elephants is a 'Parade' of Elephants.
This got us thinking about other collective nouns, some were quite unusual, for example the name for a group of Badgers was not as I suggested, a 'Cull' of Badgers, but actually a 'Cete'
of Badgers.

Whoop Studios produce these lovely collective noun prints.

To Bombay, a travelling Circus came, they brought an intelligent elephant and Nellie was her name. One dark night, she slipped her iron chain and off she ran to Hindustan and was never seen again...

I used one of the Scrapstore moulds to cast up a small herd of elephants in semi-porcelain casting slip.

The colour and surface quality of the freshly cast forms totally resembled elephant skin.


On a recent visit to Bristol Scrapstore I couldn't believe my eyes... there, amongst the usual shelves of scrap stuff were loads & loads of commercially manufactured plaster moulds for slip casting.
What an amazing find! The only problem was, which to choose...


Over the next couple of months I will be using this Blog to chronicle my journey through the final stages of my Masters Degree at Bath Spa University.

I joined the MA Design: Ceramics programme in October 2011, funded by The Arts and Humanities Research Council.

During this time I have worked on several 'live' projects, including 'Pigeon English' at the Holburne Museum, 'The Cornerstone Project' for Triodos Bank, and was shortlisted for the Bath Spa Porthleven Prize 2013

Last year, to satisfy my ongoing interest in collections, curating and cultures of display, I was invited by Dr. Jo Dahn to attend selected MA: Curatorial Practice lectures at Corsham Court. In parallel to the taught Masters programme I have undertaken independent research in a variety of areas and have participated in an exemplary programme of Master Classes and Lecture Series presented by leading contemporary practitioners including; Takeshi Yasuda, Carol McNicoll, Bouke de Vries, Louisa Taylor, Anna Barlow, Nick Lees, Grayson Perry, Paul Scott, Moira Vincentelli, James Beighton, Conor Wilson, Neil Brownsword, Dan Allen and Mike Tooby. 

I have been fortunate to have had Jane Gibson and Keith Harrison, Jerwood Makers prize winner 2011 and Ceramics Resident at the V&A 2012-13, as my lead tutors throughout the Masters Degree.