Traditional blue and white willow ware always evokes fond memories from childhood; those Sunday afternoon teas at Betty and Jack’s place, with huge plates of little triangle sandwiches and cups of cordial; visiting Nelly’s place, with blue and white porcelain plates filled with homemade sweet treats and biscuits. My latest body of work has been exploring the notion of memory and how simple visual cues can take us back to our happy days of childhood. The work is inspired by the simple, yet complex nature of the garden and its visitors; each bird representing someone once known or someone who continues to inhabit everyday life.
My exploration of ceramics and desire to learn new and creative techniques led me to the historically rich city of Jingdezhen, China, which has been at the very heart of fine porcelain production by master craftsmen for well over a thousand years. Joining an artist residency in 2017 and 2018, I had access to the great ceramic and porcelain masters who taught ancient and modern technical skills, many of which had been handed down over hundreds of generations.
A visit to Jingdezhen is likened to a visit to ceramic heaven.