1st–3rd March 2024, Private Views 28th–29th February

Portico Rooms, S9

Somerset House, London

JOANNA BIRD IS DELIGHTED TO BE PRESENTING a selection of compelling new work for her twentieth 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 1st–3rd March 2024, with previews on 28th–29th February.

Artists exhibiting: Halima Cassell, Steffen Dam, Elizabeth Fritsch, Florian Gadsby, Joseph Harrington, Hanne Heuch, Bernard Leach, Hattori Makiko, Lucie Rie, Rupert Spira, Matthew Warner, Gregory Warren Wilson.

Artists listed in alphabetical order

Halima Cassell

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

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.

Elizabeth Fritsch CBE

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.

Florian Gadsby

FLORIAN GADSBY is a ceramicist based in London who has been making functional ceramics for the past six years. Making both individual one-off vessels and groups of pots, he complements their simple forms with delicate glazes which have crystalline structures. Having been an apprentice to Lisa Hammond MBE for three years and Ken Matsuzaki in Mashiko, Japan, Florian has learned thoroughly how to throw with efficiency and skill, constantly striving for sensibility and functionality in his work.

Joseph Harrington

JOSEPH HARRINGTON is a sculptor working predominantly in cast glass. He graduated with an MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art in 2006. He recently won ‘Best in Show’ at the 2017 British Glass Biennale, a gold medal at the Bavarian State Prize 2018 and has recently had his work acquired by the V&A Museum, London Joseph has exhibited both nationally and internationally including a 2013 solo exhibition ‘Landscape Portraits’ at Bullseye gallery, Portland USA and has exhibited at ‘Collect’ art fair at the Saatchi Gallery, London. ‘I interpret landscapes through exploration of material. I focus on rugged coastlines, looking at erosion as a spectacle of discovery and generation of form, revealing a sense of the history and movement of a place. The work is produced using my ‘Lost Ice Process.’ I use salt to sculpt ice as a one-off ephemeral model to take a direct cast from. The textures this provides and the transient nature of the creative process reflects the erosion and sense of time I want to represent in the landscape. There is a roughness from the initial cast that is ground polished and refined to its final finish, revealing the internal structures of the glass and creating facets and flat planes to redefine the essence of the made against the organic surface.’

Hanne Heuch

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

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.

Hattori Makiko

HATTORI MAKIKO is a Japanese artist initially creating shapes resembling functional pots, then applying ribbons of porcelain to tightly fill the entire surface of each form, thus transforming it into sculpture. Working freely, she prefers to work in a meditative state with the repetitive process by adding tiny individual parts to complete the whole surface harmoniously.

Hattori says this about her work,

‘I would be happy if the audience can immediately be drawn into the work before any other explanation because of the visual and tactile impact of the surface.
The work involves an incessantly repetitive process, nonetheless I never get tired with this Zen-like operation. I confront this long procedure with a very relaxed transcendent state of mind’.

Lucie Rie

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.

Rupert Spira

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.

Matthew Warner

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

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 2024, and we look forward to seeing you again next year.

We would like to thank all the artists, photographers Alick Cotterill, Jonathan Keenan and Sylvain Deleu, Collect, the Somerset House team, and the Crafts Council.

With all good wishes,
Joanna and team

All images by Alick Cotterill and Sylvain Deleu