Curation is something I enjoy as it involves many interesting aspects; research, developing artists’ vocabulary, probing the fascinating and, of course, vision. Working together to build reputations and make people more aware of art and 3D pieces can be an inspired collaboration and can alter perspectives.
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
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.
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 Halima Cassell’s Echo as our Piece of the Month.
Hand carved from solid clay, Cassell’s sculptures are striking in their complexity and technique. Her work is inspired by geometric, repeating patterns with forms that call to mind the beauty of Mughal architecture.
Each edge is painstakingly carved to the desired depth amd refined to give the piece a sharp clean finish. Cassell’s work features in numerous public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum and the Jerwood Foundation.
H 50 x D 30.5 cm
Sandy Brown at Beyond Limits, Chatsworth
Temple by Sandy Brown
Price on Application
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.
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
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
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: 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.