Sea Life: Glimpses of the Wonderful at RAMM
May 13 – September 17, 2017
We are delighted to announce that the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, RAMM, has commissioned and acquired Specimens from an imaginary voyage, an installation by Steffen Dam for their collection.
This installation is made up of 18 Marine and Jellyfish Jars and was created from hand blown and cast glass. Specially commissioned by RAMM the pieces take inspiration from the collection in Sladen’s Study which houses specimens of starfish and sea urchins.
A film of Dam working in his studio features in the exhibition as well as glass by the Blaschka brothers and a live aquarium.
Specimens from an imaginary voyage will be on display in Sladen’s Study, RAMM from November 2017.
Necessities of Life
17 - 27 May 2017
Joanna is pleased to announce the opening of her next summer exhibition, Necessities of Life, taking place at Grove Park Terrace from Wednesday 17 May – Saturday 27 May.
This exhibition will give a broad brushstroke of what we think is essential to life – pots for food, water, coffee, wine, books, music and the garden.
We have our wonderful gardener Tom replanting the garden and lots of pots to show you – some planted up – all hand made in Hampshire. Visitors are invited to explore the garden and discover sculptural works by James Oughtibridge, Akiko Hirai, Adam Buick and Svend Bayer.
Open daily 10am – 5.30pm, closed Sundays.
We look forward to seeing you.
19 Grove Park Terrace, London, W4 3QE
Featuring work from:
Danlami Aliyu, Richard Batterham, Svend Bayer, Adam Buick, Halima Cassell, Chien-Wei Chang, Carina Ciscato, Joanna Constantinidis, Angela Cork, Pippin Drysdale, Akiko Hirai, Edward Hughes, James Oughtibridge, Nest Designs, Kaori Tatebayashi, Matthew Warner, West Meon Pottery, Philip Wood, Quarry Lane Workshop
Joanna Bird at London Craft Week 2017
03 May 2017
British potter Chris Keenan, Fashion designer, Margaret Howell and Joanna Bird, ceramics consultant and curator, discuss the similarities in their process to work, searching out truth to materials and authenticity.
Chris began working with clay in his mid-thirties when he began a two year apprenticeship with Edmund de Waal. His collection includes beakers, bowls, cups, teapots, jugs and pots for flowers. Most recently, Chris spent six weeks as Artist-in-Residence at the Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art in Japan working with local clays and glazes. He was invited to fire work in the salt-glaze and noborigama kilns of Tomoo Hamada.
Margaret Howell has been designing understated, high-quality clothes since 1970. Inspired by nature, mid-20th-century furniture design and figures such as Mr James Dean and artist Mr Ben Nicholson, Ms Howell’s vision is unerringly tasteful, assured and practical.
Booking is essential as places on the tour are limited, tickets cost £9.60 and are available here.
Those on the tour will be met between 10.40 – 10.50, at South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Road, SE5 8UH and continue on to Vanguard Court.
In Conversation at Vanguard Studio
11.00 – 12.00
03 May 2017
Joanna Bird talk at Messums Wiltshire
Sat 29 April 2017
Making a collection: Abstraction in clay
Messums Wiltshire welcomes Anthony Shaw, founder of The Anthony Shaw Collection and Joanna Bird, consultant curator to Material: Earth to discuss Anthony’s collection which is on long term loan to CoCA, York Museums Trust.
It is one of Britain’s most important private collections of modern studio ceramics. A major holding of over 1200 works by some eighty artists acquired over 44 years. Within it there are important works by Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Sara Radstone, Ewen Henderson, Gordon Baldwin and Gillian Lowndes amongst others. A couturier, Anthony has travelled widely from his early childhood, educated by these experiences he appreciates ceramics as Art and has developed a very personal aesthetic.
They will be talking about how the collection came about, specific influences, where is has been housed and how Anthony has engaged with its development.
Booking is strongly advised with tickets costing £10.00 or £15.00 on the door and are available here.
Making a collection: Abstraction in clay.
11.00 – 12.00
Sat 29 April 2017
Material: Earth at Messums Wiltshire
12 March – 1 May 2017
This exhibition demonstrates how artists have explored the language of ceramics over the last seventy years. The aim is to convey a flavour of personal approaches to clay, from pots we use every day to abstract conceptual sculpture. Messums invited Joanna to join the exhibition as a consultant curator to advise and facilitate making this an exciting and well rounded exhibition.
Exhibiting artists include:
Felicity Aylieff, Sam Bakewell, Gordon Baldwin, Alison Britton, Christie Brown, Sandy Brown, Adam Buick, Stephanie Buttle, Hans Coper, Michael Eden, Philip Eglin, Elizabeth Fritsch, Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, Ewen Henderson, Gillian Lowndes, Geoffrey Mann, Alexander MacDonald- Buchanan, Grayson Perry, Richard Slee, Julian Stair, Kaori Tatebayashi, Annie Turner, Bouke de Vries, Edmund de Waal
Place Farm, Court St, Tisbury,
Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP3 6LW
Joanna Bird returned to the Saatchi Gallery in February to participate in the Crafts Council 13th COLLECT contemporary craft fair. As always we showed a selection of quality works from internationally acclaimed contemporary ceramic, glass and wood working artists.
Works exhibited included pieces by Carina Ciscato, Pippin Drysdale, Annie Turner, Chien-Wei Chang, Kaori Tatebayashi, John Makepeace, Fausto Salvi, Sara Dodd, Hattori Makiko and Halima Cassell, Steffen Dam, Geoffrey Mann and Nest Designs.
True to Form
19 Grove Park Terrace, London, W4 3QE
Late Night Opening Thursday 17 November until 8pm
We were delighted to welcome light installation artist Rupert Newman who produced an exciting and mesmerizing display for the exhibition opening night.
Following the success of her collaboration with renowned interior designer David Mlinaric, curating the Sir John Soane Museum stand for Decorex International 2015, Joanna Bird returned to the fair bringing together an array of superb Decorative Arts, Furniture and Venetian Lighting.
By placing a curatorial emphasis on the ‘Objets D’art’ when designing around the objects, Joanna creates fresh and harmonious spaces, something which is reflected in her stand design for the fair.
Works shown at Decorex 2016 include:
Bold colours and clean lines: Furniture by Nest Design including The Pheonix console table, Red Writing Desk and Twenty 10. Nest create hand crafted pieces in solid timber and in 2005 they were awarded the prestigious Irish Furniture Oscar by John Makepeace.
The Phoenix consoles are Neil & Annabel McCarthy’s latest design. They combine their signature lacquer with the Japanese charring technique known as shou- sugi-ban. Traditionally applied to cedar for exterior use, it preserves wood by burning it superficially. The hardened surface is then cleaned and coated with oil.
Continuing the theme of bold colours Pippin Drysdale’s porcelain installations strike a topographical note referencing the Australian landscape. She is a National Living Treasure of Australia. Her work is instantly recognisable for its vibrant colours and strong forms.
Alessandro Diaz de Santillana brings the best from the Masters of Murano with sophisticated uplighters which emmenate a rich jewel-like glow.
Joanna will also be showing a beautiful rug by British artist Christopher Le Brun. Red and Blue was made in Afyon, Turkey and was made after a painting entitled Keep. The piece is hand dyed, hand knotted Anatolian Fat Tail Wool and Mohair.
We are delighted to be showing a chandelier by Cox London. Ferro Vitro, inspired by the drawings of Alberto Giacometti is a sculptural construction of iron and blown glass, forged in the UK.
Richard Batterham Film – We need you!
The Joanna Bird Foundation is currently fundraising for our next project, a film about potter Richard Batterham.
Richard is a master potter and represents an increasingly rare breed. He is one of the last surviving exponents of the studio pottery movement that flourished in the first half of the twentieth century and is a direct link to towering figures of the past such as Bernard Leach and Michael Cardew. The film will be the first of a series to be made by The Joanna Bird Foundation.
We are very excited to be working with Sir David Attenborourgh and Nigel Slater, who will be contributing to the film. Both have strong connections with ceramics and are great admirers of Richard and his work.
This year Richard is eighty, still running what is essentially a one-man show at his studio in Dorset. Rejecting notions of haste and commercialism that he feels are all too present in modern society he works with tide-like regularity digging his own clay and preparing glazes from the trees in his garden. His work is based on his philosophy and the resulting pieces are not only beautiful to behold and satisfying to use but imbued with a deep integrity. Tanya Harrod has said of his work, “These pots are for us – ordinary people – not for museums.” This holds true, his notable fan club love and use his pots daily and Museums have also found his work irresistible, the V&A amongst many others have acquired his work.
We will be working with award winning arts filmmaker, Alex J. Wright who has created films on Takeshi Yasuda, and Lisa Hammond among others. His recent piece Lee Kang-hyo: Onggi Master is currently being shown as part of the Crafts Council’s Real to Reel film festival. Alex is well qualified to take on this project, he is passionate about pottery and the culture surrounding it.
Such a project cannot be undertaken without funding and I am seeking your support in any donation you would like to offer, to make it happen. We are seeking a total of £9,500. The film will help to make a significant contribution to the world of art and craft in particular by informing and inspiring future generations whilst preserving the legacy of this truly remarkable man, one of the few surviving Mingei artists, our National Living Treasure.
We have had a tremendous response so far and have already received over £6,500. However, we still have a way to go to reach our goal. It would be wonderful if you were able to contribute towards this project to help create a memorable film with us.
Please made donations payable to:
Please get in touch so we can send you a short form to enable us to claim gift aid on your donation
Prospero’s Charm; Art to Enchant
21 June - 6 July 2016
Joanna Bird brings together an array of beautiful objects by internationally acclaimed artists. An enticing selection of Ceramics, Glass, Textiles and Wood set in the home gallery and against the backdrop of the unusual garden design in Chiswick.
Exceptional craftsmanship will be on view, mysterious and exotic textiles by Rita Parniczhy explore the passage of light through material and pattern. These will be juxtaposed with celebrated artist Peter Collingwood’s geometric macro gauze weavings.
Alicja Patanowska shows her intriguing MushroomLAB and Plantation Installation which allows observation of plant development, both stem and root.
Jenifer Jones and Svend Bayer add form with their pots to the garden planting, Adam Buick adds mystery to the collection with his Moon Jars inside the house. Henry Pim plays with scale and architecturally engineers his clay sculptures into composite forms, reminiscent of steel girders which explore space on the exterior whilst throwing a trajectory of shadows.
From the perfectly poised forms of Pippin Drysdale’s work to the lyrical poems of Rupert Spira, the exhibition continues to offer a great variety of work which is brought together by a sense of form and exceptional craftsmanship.
Amy West returns from Murano to show her new spring collection of glass jewellery, which can be made to commission for special occasions. Juli Bolaños-Durman also debuts her new Solace series in the UK.
21 June – 6 July , open 10am – 5.30pm (including Saturdays, closed Sundays)
Late night openings Thursday 23 June until 9pm and Wednesday 29 June until 9 pm
We look forward to seeing you.
19 Grove Park Terrace, London, W4 3QE
Joanna Bird at London Craft Week
As part of London Craft Week, Joanna will be leading a curated tour around the artists’ studios of Vanguard Court in South London.
Joanna will be introducing this very special event and giving her view on contemporary studio practices and how they relate to the historic Studio Pottery Movement.
The tour combines a fascinating look into the life of these artists – their busy studio practices – the thoughts and inspirations behind their unique creations. Get the chance to meet the artists, watch them at work and hear more about their creative practice.
Booking is essential as places on the tour are limited, tickets cost £18 and are available here
Those on the tour will be met between 13.40 – 13.50, at South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Road, SE5 8UH and continue on to Vanguard Court.
Vanguard Studio Tour
14.00 – 15.30
03 May 2016
South London Gallery
65 – 67 Peckham Road
Piece of the Month
This month we are featuring Rupert Spira’s Large Chun Bowl as our Piece of the Month.
The skill of throwing on a potter’s wheel is the basis of Rupert Spira’s work. Having been the apprentice to some major ceramic artists he sets very high standards in the craft of his art – making things larger and with extraordinary attention to detail than one might anticipate.
The versatility of his skills mean that works vary in scale from miniature to monumental and in decoration from monochrome to intricately hand-written texts. Rupert also painstakingly applies raised texts to some pieces, and in some cases poetry he has written himself.
Rupert Spira, Large Chun Bowl
H 15 x D 51 cm
Lecture: Ceramica – The Power of Installation, Soane and Beyond
Talk by JOANNA BIRD and SAMANTHA GROVER
Tuesday, 19 January 2016 A 6:30pm reception, 7pm talk
The reception will continue following the talk.
LOCATION: Jonathan Burden, 180 Duane Street (between Hudson and Greenwich Streets), New York City
RSVP: Please call 212-223-2012 or email: Chas@SoaneFoundation.com
One of the centerpieces of the Soane collection is the Cawdor Vase. This vase is the largest and most elaborate classical ceramic piece in the collection. It presents mythical figures from the Olympic Games and has a great provenance, back to the collection of the King of Naples. It has pride of place in the Library Dining room.
This talk will focus on the Soane Museum’s collection, plus some contemporary ceramics which are being shown at the New York Ceramics and Glass Fair opening this week in Manhattan. Pieces in the Soane Museum collection include the Cawdor Vase and the extremely rare Chinese export ware tiles, of which the Museum owns 300. There are also items such as the small neoclassical Wedgwood biscuit fired urn decorated with paper flowers by Mrs. Soane which is now displayed in the Oratory in the newly restored private apartments, carefully positioned to serve as a memorial to her. Soane liked to amass objects to create more impact and atmosphere and he too liked to mix contemporary and the antique. The Soane Museum has followed Soane in this direction with the 2013 exhibition: Marking the Line, Ceramics and Architecture, which was curated by Joanna Bird.
Information on the fair: http://www.newyorkceramicsandglassfair.com/
The New York Ceramics & Glass Fair 2016
On January 21-24, Joanna traveled to New York to show at The New York Ceramics and Glass Fair in Bohemian National Hall.
She exhibited exciting works by internationally acclaimed contemporary Ceramics and Glass artists, as well as offering collectors the opportunity to acquire exceptional museum-quality works by Hans Coper, Lucie Rie and Edmund de Waal.
Ceramic works by Pippin Drysdale, Carina Ciscato, Halima Cassell, and Geoffery Mann were featured as well as exquisite glass works by Steffen Dam and Juli Bolanos Durman. Collectors have the opportunity to see unusual pieces by Emmanuel Cooper, Philip Eglin and an exceptional work by the Martin Brothers.
Merchants and Makers
Joanna is delighted to announce her new exhibition, Merchants and Makers taking place at 19 Grove Park Terrace, Chiswick, London, W4 from Tuesday 1 December – Tuesday 15 December, open 10am –5.30pm (closed Sundays) with a late night opening on Tuesday 8 December until 9pm.
Following Joanna’s trip to Venice earlier this year, Merchants and Makers will be debuting beautiful glass jewellery by Amy West.
Using lamp working and traditional wheel engraving techniques, each piece of Amy’s work is carefully considered to create sensitive and detailed forms. Award winning designer-maker Juli Bolaños-Durman will also be showing colourful glass sculptures from her new Solace Collection.
The exhibition will also feature new works by Sara Dodd and Nigel Wood; historical works by master potters Lucie Rie and Hans Coper; contemporary pieces from Richard Batterham; William Plumptre and Judith Rowe, all underlining the beauty of the functional form.
New to Joanna Bird, Nic Webb’s work pursues an organic approach – using traditional tools to create his exquisite wooden sculptures and hand made ceramics. In the Merchants sector; spectacular and useful table pieces from designers Nason Moretti on Murano: elegantly simple products from artisans working with Shaker designs from the USA – boxes, brushes and honey sticks.
We hope you will come to explore the exciting cornucopia of treasures in this unusual Christmas show.
Open 10am – 5.30pm (including Saturdays, closed Sundays) with a late night opening on Tuesday 8 December until 9pm
We look forward to seeing you.
19 Grove Park Terrace, London, W4 3QE
Pippin Drysdale named as an Australian National Living Treasure
Pippin Drysdale has been chosen as one of Western Australia’s 15 Living Treasures
The 2015 State Living Treasures Award recipients were chosen by a panel of distinguished members of the arts and culture community.
They are artists who;
• have spent a significant part of their career working within or creating work related to Western Australia
• are highly regarded and skilled in their field
• have spent their careers constantly developing their work
• have passed on their knowledge to other artists and influenced emerging artist to their field
• have demonstrated a commitment or contribution to the arts sector in Western Australia
Sandy Brown at Beyond Limits, Chatsworth
Sandy Brown has been commissioned by Sotheby’s to create an exciting large scale installation for the 2015 Sotheby’s Beyond Limits exhibition at Chatsworth House, through Joanna Bird.
Sandy has created a magnificent Temple which stands over 6 metres tall and includes over 5,200 handmade decorated ceramic tiles. It has taken her 11 months to complete and it is a major work, with an air of exuberance, colour and vitality. The inside is a riot of colour set off by eight bright fused glass windows by Simon Moore.
Temple has a very spiritual feel, it is non denominational and a place for quiet contemplation.
For this piece, Sandy drew inspiration from her visits to Venice, the Taj Mahal, the Blue Mosque in Isfahan as well as from Chagall and Matisse. Temple is an expression of joy and free thought, where people may find the opportunity for reflection and inspiration.
This year’s tenth anniversary edition of Beyond Limits, will demonstrate the breadth and impact of half a century of British artistic achievement.
Click here to view Sotheby’s video of Temple.
Sandy and Joanna previously worked together on the Grange Park Opera project in 2013.
14 September 2015 – 25 October 2015 | Chatsworth
Decorex International 2015
20 - 23 September 2015
This project has a theme, working to recreate the iconic Regency architectural style of Robert and James Adam with new designs from the Museum’s licensees. These design houses are leaders in their fields and include: Ossowski, Chesney’s, Haddenstone’s, Hector Finch Lighting, Jonathan Burden, Locker & Riley, The Odd Chair Company and Surface View. They have all worked closely with the Museum, researching the Adam drawings in the collection as a source of inspiration for their designs.
Decorex International opens on the 20 – 23 September 2015 at Syon Park, London.
Visit the Sir John Soane’s Museum on stand B21.
Carina Ciscato at No. 8 St James Square
No. 8 St James Square, a Green Property project, designed by Eric Parry Architects, showing work by Carina Ciscato acquired through Joanna Bird.
Carina produced a total of 31 porcelain vessels which are displayed in a four tier cabinet measuring L 226 x W 50 cm situated inside the entrance lobby of No. 8.
Midsummer Magic; Titania’s Enchantment
16 - 26 June 2015
Joanna is pleased to announce the opening of her next summer exhibition, Midsummer Magic; Titania’s Enchantment, taking place at Grove Park Terrace from Tuesday 16 June – Friday 26 June.
Following on the success of 2014’s Heat and Dust exhibition inspired by Joanna’s travels in India, Midsummer Magic will showcase a range of work from the ethereal to the functional in the idyllic setting of an English summer garden.
We will be showing timeless ceramic pieces for everyday use by Richard Batterham and carved bowls and beakers from Miranda Thomas. These will sit beside the vibrant works of Emma Finch and Sara Moorhouse. The rich panoply continues with Jacob van der Beugel, Hyejeong Kim, Sara Dodd, and new works by Helen Beard with quirky figurative brushwork. Philip Wood is debuting his witty and sensitive drawing on tiles.
Open 10am – 5.30pm (including Saturdays, closed Sunday 21 June) with a late night opening on Tuesday 23 June until 10pm.
We look forward to seeing you.
19 Grove Park Terrace, London, W4 3QE
Wednesday 24 June
In an exciting new collaboration, we are also working with Spitalfields Music to host an evening reception as part of their In the House series; an intimate part-tour, part-recital held in the private drawing rooms of local historic homes on Strand-on-the-Green.
After enjoying short recitals from some of the Royal Academy of Music’s rising young stars, the evening will conclude with a drinks and canapés reception, giving guests the chance to mingle and meet the musicians at our exhibition.
If you would like to book tickets please contact Sophie Gordon, Spitalfields Music Development Manager, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 377 0287
Joanna Bird at COLLECT 2015
8 - 11 May 2015
Joanna Bird will return to COLLECT 2015 showing a selection of quality work from internationally acclaimed contemporary ceramic, glass and conceptual artists.
The show will feature new ceramics by Pippin Drysdale, Annie Turner and Carina Ciscato as well as works in silver by Chien-Wei Chang. Jacob van der Beugel will unveiling his new body of work following his award winning ceramic installation at Chatsworth House.
Alongside these, will be exciting new works by Halima Cassell, Kaori Tatebayashi, Joseph Harrington, Juli Bolaños-Durman, Svend Bayer and furniture from John Makepeace and Julian Chichester. Several new international artists will also be featured for the first time at COLLECT including ceramics by Thiébaut Chagué, sculpture by Rósa Gísladóttir and ceramics by Hattori Makiko.
Duke of York’s HQ
Friday 8 May: 12 – 6 pm
Saturday 9 May: 11am – 6pm
Sunday 10 May: 11am – 6pm
Monday 11 May: 11am – 4pm
Last admission 30 minutes before close of show
The North Sketch Sequence Publication
The North Sketch Sequence is the largest contemporary ceramic installation ever to be installed in a Grade II listed house. Made up of 659 handmade ceramic panels, the work depicts the DNA sequence of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
The publication includes essays by respected experts, who explore the dynamics between art, science and architecture. The publication also follows the four year journey from conception to installation of the work along with full colour images of the installation at different times of day, captured in different lights.
The book launch was held at the Architectural Association Bookshop on 2 June 2015.
The publication also includes contributions from respected experts in their fields:
The Duke of Devonshire KCVO, CBE, DL
Peter Inskip MBE
Jacob van der Beugel
The North Sketch Sequence publication is now available to buy at the price of £8 (+1.60 UK p&p). To order please email your details to email@example.com
Heat and Dust
19-30 November 2014
Joanna is delighted to announce her new exhibition, Heat and Dust, taking place at Grove Park Terrace from Wednesday 19 November to Sunday 30 November, open 10am – 5.30pm (including Saturdays, closed Sunday 23 November) with late night openings on Thursday 20 and Thursday 27 to 9pm.
Joanna visited India earlier this year to source exotic new textiles and other craft products from artisans working in Chennai, Pondicherry and Jaipur. The result is an exhibition that conveys the rich and varied atmosphere of the country, showcasing the finest Indian hand-crafts and beautiful new contemporary ceramics and glass.
Finely woven silk saris, cashmere shawls and pashminas in a range of vibrant colours and traditional patterns will be complemented by the bright glazes and sculptural forms of work from both established and emerging artists.
Pippin Drysdale explores a range of colours from Violet to Crimson to Ochre to enliven her unique porcelain forms. Sara Moorhouse and Natasha Daintry will provide their take on the vessel in an equally dazzling array of colours directly inspired by the craft textiles in the show.
Ceramics from Clive Bowen, Richard Batterham and Kaori Tatebayashi demonstrate the beauty of functional form whilst Thiébaut Chagué’s powerful sculptures speak of the immediate relationship between earth and fire.
Chien-Wei Chang’s silver work responds to objects in everyday use in India, bringing a fresh view on a country that is undergoing rapid change.
The show will also feature ceramics by Sara Dodd and Emma Finch, and new work in glass from Juli Bolaños-Durman.
The Arris, Interpreted
27 November - 24 December 2014
Joanna Bird at Chesney’s London
Joanna Bird presents a selection of curated works at Chesney’s the new showroom in Battersea. Joanna chose vibrant ceramic works to complement Chesney’s period and contemporary luxury fireplaces.
194 – 200 Battersea Park Road,
London, SW11 4ND
Monday-Friday 9:00am-5.30pm, Saturday 10.00am-5.00pm
Carina Ciscato at Chesney’s New York
Coinciding with the Inspired by Soane launch at Chesney’s New York, Carina Ciscato is exhibiting new works including a series of roundels, which she developed as part of the Marking the line: Ceramics and Architecture.
Chesney’s New York
Suite 1119, 11th Floor, D&D Building,
979 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022
Monday-Friday 9:00am – 5.00pm
The North Sketch Sequence by Jacob van der Beugel at Chatsworth
The North Sketch Sequence is an entire ceramic room created using textured, handmade ceramic panels created by artist, Jacob van der Beugel. Lining the walls of the North Sketch Gallery each of the 659 warm, ochre coloured panels is unique and can fit only in one place. It is the most ambitious permanent ceramic installation ever to be constructed in a Grade I listed house.
Using samples from the Duke and Duchess, their son Lord Burlington and his wife Lady Burlington, the panels are embedded with a depiction of the Devonshire family’s DNA. Aspects of each individual’s personality are captured on raised ceramic blocks representing their personal DNA strand in an unusual and creative take on the traditional portrait.
It is a major work of art, and in the Duke of Devonshire’s words, ‘The most important addition to the house since the Sculpture Gallery was added in 1832.’ It is also the largest handmade contemporary ceramic installation ever to be installed in a country house.
The North Sketch Sequence is a landmark in Jacob’s career as both conceptual artist and master craftsman. It took four years to complete the project, completely covering the 20m long gallery. The panels are a new departure for Jacob, and he is now looking to extend his practice further by exploring new wall-mounted forms leading on from The North Sketch Sequence.
“A beautiful poetic work which is exemplary in the way it manages to turn information (of which we have so much, and which usually leaves us so cold) into art (which touches our hearts).”
Alain de Botton on The North Sketch Sequence
The installation also won the prestigious CODAaward for best interior in the residential category. The annual CODAaward celebrates the best design and art projects from all over the world. Jacob’s installation was chosen from over 336 entries from 32 countries.
The North Sketch Sequence is on permanent display at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, UK.
Joanna Bird at Suzanne Lovell Inc
In November 2013, Joanna Bird visited Chicago for a pop-up exhibition in the studio of renowned interior designer Suzanne Lovell. The show coincided with SOFA Chicago, where Joanna had a stand and Suzanne had designed the VIP room.
Showing a range of contemporary and historic works in a variety of media, Joanna and Suzanne gave a talk about the importance of decorative arts within the home and the three dimensional experience.
Marking the line Symposium at Somerset House
26 March 2013
In conjunction with the touring exhibition Marking the line: Ceramics and Architecture, The Joanna Bird Foundation organised a symposium to discuss the interplay between ceramics and architecture and their relevance for collectors, makers and museums today. The evening concluded with a candlelit tour of the exhibition at Sir John Soane’s Museum.
Eric Parry RA, Principal, Eric Parry Architects
Suzanne Lovell, Principal, Suzanne Lovell Inc.
Dr Jerzy Kierkuć-Bieliński, Exhibitions Curator, Sir John Soane’s Museum
Jan Tichelaar, Director, Royal Tichelaar Makkum
Joanna Bird, Curator, Director, The Joanna Bird Foundation
Jeremy Theophilus, Co-director of the British Ceramics Biennial
Eliza Gluckman, Curator, Day+Gluckman
Andrew Burton, Artist, Professor of Fine Art at Newcastle University
Chair: Dr Glenn Adamson, Head of Research, V&A
Themes of the symposium:
Contemporary ceramic installations in historic architectural settings.
Where do ceramics fit into the wider arts sector? How does place and historical reference affect both work and audiences?
How do installations in different historic contexts show work in a new light and how does this affect the artist, viewer and critic?
How can design factories, artists and architects explore artistic collaboration?
What is the future for crossover of architecture, interior design and ceramics?
Support from the Art Fund enabled curators from around the UK to attend the Marking the line symposium
Marking the line: Ceramics and Architecture
7 March - 8 September 2013
Marking the line: Ceramic and Architecture was a touring exhibition, which commissioned four artists to create ceramic installations responding to the life and works of Sir John Soane. Curated by Joanna Bird and Dr Jerzy Kierkuć-Bieliński, Exhibitions Curator at Sir John Soane’s Museum, the exhibition sought to challenge where and how we view ancient and modern works of art.
Ceramic artists Nicholas Rena, Carina Ciscato, Clare Twomey and Christie Brown were commissioned to create life specific responses to celebrated neoclassical architect Sir John Soane, inspired by his work, life and collections. The concept was, by introducing contemporary ceramic art into an historic architectural setting to explore the relationship between ceramics and architecture.
The exhibition opened at Sir John Soane’s Museum on March 8, 2013 and then travelled onto two further houses designed or partially designed by Soane: Port Eliot in Cornwall and Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing.
Very different dialogues between work and historic setting emerged as the exhibition translated from one venue to the next. In Port Eliot for example, themes of dynasty in Christie Brown’s work resonated not only with the life of Soane but also with that of the St.Germans family at Port Eliot, so much so that Christie produced a further two pieces, busts of the 1st Lord & Lady St Germans, to enhance the exhibition.
‘This is a fascinating exhibition with contemporary artists taking inspiration from one of our most visionary architects. This is a show that should attract anyone with an interest in art, design and architecture and I hope it will introduce many more people to Soane’s work and legacy, including his gem of a Museum in Holborn and his home at Pitzhanger Manor.’ – Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
Marking the line: Ceramics and Architecture was supported by the Arts Council England and organised by The Joanna Bird Foundation
A fully illustrated catalogue is now available to buy at the price of £10 (+1.60 p&p). To order please email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandy Brown at Grange Park Opera
Joanna Bird was invited to show a pop up art installation for Grange Park Opera in 2013.
Sandy Brown’s large sculptures Prelude and Lentissimo looked wonderful in front of and inside the auditorium.
Stretching to over 3.5m tall Prelude created a dramatic statement with high visual impact.
Michael Cardew, Pioneer Potter Exhibition
26 September - 3 October 2012
Joanna Bird presented a seminal group of works by Michael Cardew at the Fine Art Society, London to coincide with the launch of Tanya Harrod’s major biography The Last Sane Man: Michael Cardew: Modern Pots, Colonialism, and Counterculture published by Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.
The exhibition included examples of Michael’s work throughout his career. These include bowls and lamps from Winchcombe, Abuja soy and talc pots and Wenford stem cups.
Michael Cardew was one of Bernard Leach’s first pupils. In 1926, he set up a traditional English pottery in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. His aim was to produce functional affordable pieces. He worked from grass roots, mixing his own clay body and all the pigments and glazes.
In 1939, he returned to Cornwall to set up a pottery at Wenford Bridge and in 1942, he established a pottery in Ghana. He trained West African potters and brought his western ideas and technology to the more traditional primitive pottery of West Africa.
James Rigler Table
James Rigler was commissioned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire to create a ceramic table, the commission was open to his interpretation within certain size limitations.
Rigler drew on his sculptural practice and previous experience with mixed media to create a table made up of five separate pieces. The final piece was created in ceramic, marble, wood, steel, gold leaf and rope.
a sounding line by Edmund de Waal at Chatsworth
It has been a particular pleasure for Joanna to work with the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire on the installation they commissioned from British studio ceramicist Edmund de Waal.
The final work – now on display at Chatsworth – is the culmination of nearly two years’ discussion and decision-making. Entitled ‘a sounding line’, it reflects the connection Edmund felt with the historic porcelain in the State Rooms in the floor above his installation, which is located in the Chapel Passage.
Chatsworth is full of porcelain. Porcelain rests in vitrines and on desks, on mantelpieces and corbels, within fireplaces, on dining tables and stretching up to the ceiling in the porcelain room. There are formal garnitures and groupings, dinner services and wayward accretions, beautiful singletons and impressive masses: porcelain is as much a part of the texture of the place as the pictures and the furniture.
A sounding line came out of conversations with the Duke and Duchess, and the agency of Joanna Bird, to bring an installation of my porcelain into Chatsworth. Installation is ‘art-world speak’ for a sculptural grouping of work: it seemed crucial to find a way of resonating with the historic collections in a strong but sympathetic way.
The Chapel Corridor with its pairing of fireplaces and high corbels- and its softly modulated light- was the setting chosen. I’ve always wanted to make a piece that you walked along, where variations in forms and colours and tones revealed themselves as you moved and this was what I have tried to do. The feeling that I had was one of music echoing through the house- sounding and resounding. So the two mantelpieces and the high corbels have groups of twenty-four vessels that are loose ‘musical’ reflections of each other. The vessels are glazed in a spectrum of different glazes based on the celadon glazes of the Far East. Within the chimneypieces are two groups of very large white and cream-glazed lidded jars with touches of gilding, echoes of the formal 18th century groupings of jars far away in the State Rooms. For I hope that a sounding line acts as a very personal and very particular reflection on Chatsworth’s porcelain.
Edmund de Waal
The installation is made of 52 porcelain vessels in 5 celadon glazes and 14 thrown porcelain vessels in 5 white glazes