Commissions, I enjoy finding the right artist and client pairing, which usually leads to each extending their practice and belief.
Steffen Dam’s commission for RAMM ‘Specimens from an Imaginary Voyage’
Steffen Dam speaks with authority about his process and work in this video by Gillian Taylor. ‘Specimens from an Imaginary Voyage’ presents a body of work made exclusively for RAMM’s major Summer 2017 exhibition ‘Sea Life: Glimpses of the Wonderful’.
Film by Gillian Taylor for Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter. This commission was facilitated by Joanna Bird.
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.
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.
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.
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