I live on Mersea Island, among the Essex salt marshes, and my current work is inspired by my own aerial photographs of this extraordinary wilderness. The marshland, with the habitats it offers and the biodiversity it encourages, is under threat. My response to these concerns could be called ‘Pot Propaganda’.
My sculptural ceramics communicate an experience of the landscape, evoking a bodily relationship to it. Mark Rothko insisted that his Seagram murals were not pictures, but that he had made a ‘place’. In my work the ‘place’ oscillates, like the sense of scale, between the small landscape reliefs on the surface of some of the vessels and the large forms and negative spaces around the pieces themselves.
The work aims to relate a sense of risk as well as confidence; a threat of imbalance as well as elegant order; fragility as well as strength. The slip cast forms suggest controlled repetition and the glazes offer wild and serendipitous colours and textures formed in the kiln. This equilibrium is what I celebrate about the landscape and what I am anxious to encourage the viewer to want to conserve for its future.
As the photographer Ansel Adams said, “You can have craft without art but you can’t have art without craft”. For me the craft element is how I make my art. The how is a lifelong project of developing skills and processes which I enjoy. The Why is the communication. My political, environmental soap box is made of clay but I am not a scientist or a campaigner, I simply want to share my enthusiasm. I take my work seriously but I am not serious minded about it. The work comes from a sense of joy and play.