Perfect Pairings: Painters and Potters – New Ashgate Gallery – 14 October -19 November 2011
This is an exhibition of work made by painters and potters – inspired by each other. The exhibiting artists are: John Maltby & Vicki Nigoumi, Linda Bloomfield & Sarah Spackman, Jenny Grevatte & John Wright, Tim Burns inspired by Lisa Hammond and Emily Feaver inspired by Gareth Mason
John Maltby – Brief Biography
Born in Lincolnshire, England, 1936. Studied sculpture at Leicester and Goldsmiths College, London. Taught painting and sculpture for two and a half years before working with David Leach at Bovey Tracey in 1962. In 1964 he started his own pottery at Stoneshill, Devonshire, England, making stoneware, earthenware and porcelain.
He has lectured widely in England and has been a frequent visiting lecturer at Bergen Kunsthandverksskole, Norway. In May 1987 he was the sole judge of the International Pottery Competition (Fletcher Challenge Award) in Auckland, New Zealand. July 1987 he conducted a Seminar in Berne, Switzerland, “Creativity Developing a Personal Style” which was repeated in Basle in 1988. In 1989 he was invited by Galerie Handwerk, Munich, to give a lecture and open the exhibtiion English Ceramics. He has also published articles in Ceramic Review (nos. 29, 78, 102) and Crafts (no. 80: ‘The Leach Tradition’).
Awards include: 1966 Craft Award, Gwen Mullins Trust; 1975 Gold Medal, Faenza, International Exhibitions of Contemporary Ceramics, Italy.; 1981 Craft Award, South West Arts.; 1986 Major Craft Fellowship, South West Arts
He is a member of the Craftsman Potters Assosication of Great Britain, and the British Crafts Centre and is an advisor to the Leach Archive at the Holbourne of Menstrie Museum, Bath, England.
Normally my ceramics are ‘about’, English landscape and architecture: they derive their forms and surfaces from a subconscious sense of our history – ‘this sea-washed country where the air is never quite free from mist; where the light of the sun is more often pale and pearly than it is fiery. This atmosphere has sunk into our souls. It has affected our art as it affects our life – but it has not resulted in a congenital softness of vision’ (Quotation from John Piper, ‘British Romantic Artists, 1943).
Works from the ‘Kings, Queens and Angels: Such titles are the very fabric of our English Heritage. They are timeless and yet are a microcosm of our own world. They are ancient players; symbols of our dignity and of our fallibility and they are the myths and the essence of our Englishness.
Bernard Leach: He became infatuated the imagination of Bernard Leach and his philosophy with its strong emphasis on traditional (oriental) craft skills and made individual stoneware ceramics within this tradition for a number of years.
In 1996 due to ill health, John Maltby was unable to continue in his established direction and was forced, for a while, to make small individual objects on the kitchen table! John found these small sculptures so much more interesting and continues to make them.
“In this new work, the flexibility of idea and image can be explored more freely. Constraints of function are no longer present and I feel newly liberated from some of the limitatons of the ceramic tradition; but I hope that those skills of the ‘Leach’ tradition (so hard won!) can be assimilated into and contribute to the vitality of the work.