JOANNA BIRD IS DELIGHTED TO BE PRESENTING a selection of compelling new work for her nineteenth year of exhibiting at Collect. This year, the gallery will be showing outstanding examples of work by a selection of international artists, each of whom is supremely accomplished in their field: ceramics, glass and sculpture.
Representing a range of international contemporary makers, Joanna will present their innovative and cutting-edge work within the historic context of works by past Masters.
Collect is the leading international fair for contemporary craft and design to be held at Somerset House, London, from 3rd–5th March 2023, with preview days on 1st-2nd March.
Artists exhibiting: Dawn Bendick, Norah Braden, Emmanuel Boos, Halima Cassell, Steffen Dam, Pippin Drysdale, Elizabeth Fritsch, Hanne Heuch, Bernard Leach, Lucille Lewin, Lucie Rie, Anthony Scala, Rupert Spira, Kaja Upelj, Matthew Warner, Gregory Warren Wilson.
DAWN BENDICK’s work in dichroic glass is inspired by natural light and our intuitive ability to track time without technology. By tapping into our peripheral senses, she questions how we can heighten our awareness of the changes in the seasons, atmospheric light, and weather.
She has exhibited internationally, including: London Design Festival, London Craft Week and Acne Studios. Her work is in the public collection of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo.
NORAH BRADEN (1901 – 2001) is one of the foremost British potters of her time. After graduating with a diploma in painting at the Royal College of Art, she studied at the Leach Pottery from 1925 to 1928, where she became particularly interested in wood ash glazes. She subsequently worked alongside Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie at Coleshill for eight years, using ash glazes made from plants and wood on the estate.
She taught at Brighton and Central Schools of Art. Braden was a perfectionist, and destroyed many of the pots she made, to the extent that her work is now considered rare. She was thought by Leach to have the best eye of any of his pupils and is considered by many to have the greatest sensitivity to shape of any of the Leach pupils.
EMMANUEL BOOS first discovered his craft as an adolescent and later began working in a pottery studio while pursuing academic studies. He then travelled and lived in South Korea and China where he developed an interest in Chinese glazes and porcelain. During his subsequent apprenticeship with Jean Girel, he perfection his knowledge of both ceramic bodies and high-temperature glazes, prompting him to undertake a practice-led PhD at the Royal College of Art.
Emmanuel has exhibited internationally, including at Design Basel/Miami, PAD London, and at the European Contemporary Ceramics Biennale. In 2011 he was a Jerwood Makers Open Laureate, and from 2016 to 2019 was artist in residence at the Musée de la Céramique, Sèvres, Paris.
HALIMA CASSELL MBE (born 1975 in Pakistan) was brought up in Manchester and now lives in Shropshire. Her work takes inspiration from her multicultural background, as well as her fascination with African pattern work and architectural geometry. She concentrates on simple forms to maximise the impact of the complex surface patterns. She works in many materials: clay, wood, glass, concrete, and bronze.
Halima’s work is included in the collections at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Birmingham Museum, Jerwood Foundation Trust, and the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery.
STEFFEN DAM has been working with glass for more than 35 years. He originally trained as a toolmaker, and the precision he was taught in constructing industrial tools proved invaluable when he began to work in glass. After several years, he set aside the traditional techniques and began making glass all ‘wrong’ in an attempt to capture the good within the bad. Out of these experiments came the Fossils, Plants, and Jellyfish Jars for which he is celebrated.
Steffen’s work is included in the following public collections: Victoria & Albert Museum, Corning Museum of Glass, USA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Art and Design, New York, National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design Oslo and in the private collection of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
PIPPIN DRYSDALE’S career as a ceramic artist spans 40 years. Her passion for the craft merges with a love of the landscape, which has travelled across continents and in most recent years has focused on the vivid desert landscapes of Australia. Her works evoke a timeless and breathtaking sense of space and place within finely crafted porcelain vessels, narrating the mesmerising vastness of colour experienced in the unique Australian landscape.
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.
ELIZABETH FRITSCH CBE trained as a musician before taking up ceramics in 1966. After studying at the Royal College of Art with Hans Coper, she worked at the Bing & Grøndahl factory in Copenhagen, where she held her first solo exhibition. She was a major prize winner in the Royal Copenhagen Jubilee Competition. In 1987 she was chosen for the Bernard Leach Centenary Post Office Stamp issue with Hans Coper and Lucie Rie.
Her work can be seen in many public collections, including the Belle Rive Museum, Zurich, the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, the Shigaraki Museum, Japan, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2008 Joanna Bird curated a solo show for Fritsch at The Fine Art Society.
HANNE HEUCH (born 1954, Oslo) studied ceramics at Bergen School of Arts and Crafts before graduating from the National College of Art and Design, Oslo in 1979. From 1988 to 1992 she was Professor and Head of Department at Bergen National Academy of the Arts. She currently teaches at the Academy of Design and Craft in Gothenburg.
Heuch has worked on several commissions for public buildings in Norway, using pigmented laminated building glass produced at Planglasteknik AB in Stockholm. Her work is included in many public and private collections: SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, the Museum of Decorative Art and Design, Oslo, and the Museum of Decorative Art, Bergen.
BERNARD LEACH (1887 – 1979) was the pre-eminent potter of the Studio Pottery Movement. After studying drawing at the Slade School of Art with Henry Tonks, he went to Japan in 1909 as an etcher, and later began working with clay in Tokyo. Leach became part of the Mingei movement, developing an appreciation of the aesthetics of craft. With Shoji Hamada he established the St. Ives Pottery, which became England’s single greatest ceramic institution of the twentieth century.
Leach’s most celebrated and influential book, A Potter’s Book, was published in 1940. His work has been exhibited worldwide and is included in international collections, both public and private.
LUCILLE LEWIN was born in South Africa in 1948 but the political and social upheaval of apartheid brought her to London. She had an influential career in fashion as Founder and Creative Director of Whistles, and Creative Director of Liberty, before pursuing a career in fine art. In 2017 she graduated from the Royal College of Art with a degree in Ceramics & Glass.
A residency in Dehua, China inspired Lewin’s porcelain sculptures for the exhibition Blanc de Chine: A Continuous Conversation at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2019.
LUCIE RIE (1902 – 1995) studied ceramics at the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule under Michael Powolny and Robert Obseiger. She showed her work in exhibitions concerned with the products of the Wiener Secession, including the Paris exhibitions of 1925 and 1936. In 1938 she emigrated to England and established her studio in Albion Mews, West London, where she remained for the rest of her working life.
Her earliest English works were ceramic buttons, brooches, and tableware, which she made with the assistance of Hans Coper after the Second World War. In the decades following the war Rie developed a unique modernist style, bringing to it her infallible taste combined with a certain ‘English’ sense of balance between form and surface.
Lucie Rie’s work is in public collections all over the world.
ANTHONY SCALA has been working in glass for over twenty years. Initially trained as an architectural model maker, he discovered his passion for glass during an apprenticeship with Peter Layton at London Glassblowing, which sparked his interest in cold-working techniques. In 2005 he won the prestigious Glass Sellers’ Award, making him the youngest contender ever to receive this prize.
Scala has exhibited extensively throughout the UK, including at the British Glass Biennale and Modern & Contemporary Glass at Bonhams.
RUPERT SPIRA (born 1960, London) studied at West Surrey College of Art and Design under Henry Hammond. He later trained with Michael Cardew at Wenford Bridge Pottery. In 1996 he set up his own studio at Church Farm, Shropshire.
At the heart of Spira’s work is the skill of throwing on a potter’s wheel. He sets a very high standard of craftsmanship in his art and his work embodies an exceptional subtlety of form and glaze. His pieces vary in scale from miniature to monumental. Some of his work also incorporates intricate hand-written text.
His work is to be seen in the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. In Japan, he is represented at the Setagaya Art Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
KAJA UPELJ is a Slovenian glass artist who graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2018. Prior to this, she received her BA at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. She has developed innovative glass techniques, some of which use the iridescent colours resulting from chemical reactions within the molten glass.
A QEST Scholar in the UK, she was also selected as an emerging young talent at New Horizons 2018 in China. Her work has been exhibited at art fairs including Miart and Milan Design Week in Milan, and Nomad Circle.
MATTHEW WARNER completed his BA at Camberwell College of Art in 2010, before going on to study under Julian Stair as a QEST Scholar.
His work takes inspiration from the 18th-century potter Josiah Wedgwood, and seeks to explore how perceptions of status and luxury are reinforced through objects. He is particularly interested in the social connotations of pots throughout history, and in how they have been deployed to promote ideas of class, power, and even moral understanding.
GREGORY WARREN WILSON’S innovative and original work in glass is vividly colourful. Conceived in multiple layers set within deep bespoke frames, his concerns are in part sculptural. His work reflects and refracts light in an extraordinary variety of ways.
Warren Wilson has exhibited internationally, including: Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney, Narek Gallery, Canberra, New Craftsman Gallery, St Ives and at the British Glass Biennale in 2022.
We hope that you have enjoyed our exhibition for Collect 2023, and we look forward to seeing you again next year.
We would like to thank all the artists, photographers Alick Cotterill and Sylvain Deleu, Collect, the Somerset House team, and the Crafts Council.
With all good wishes,
Joanna and Team
All images by Alick Cotterill.