The Precious Clay: Porcelain in Contemporary Art
20 September 2018 to 20 March 2019
Museum of Royal Worcester
Meadow Arts and the Museum of Royal Worcester present an exhibition exploring contemporary art and porcelain, The Precious Clay. The exhibition examines why and how artists choose to use this legendary material in their practice. With its origins in the Far East and a long global history, porcelain holds rich associations of preciousness, mutability and exoticism: the artists’ work responds to these associations in lively and inventive ways.
With new commissions by Laura White and Emily Speed shown alongside work by artists including Annie Attridge, Barnaby Barford, Bouke de Vries, Céline Berger, Christine Borland, Clare Twomey, Edmund de Waal, Edward Chell, Fernando Casasempere, Jessica Harrison, Leonora Lockhart, Livia Marin, Matteo Nasini, Mona Hatoum, Neil Brownsword, Rachel Kneebone and Rosa Nguyen, plus a special interactive project by Storymine, the exhibition is an opportunity to see the Museum’s newly displayed world-class collection through the eyes and imaginations of contemporary artists.
Porcelain is a complex substance that requires skill, practice and an intimate making process. Laura White’s newly commissioned piece ‘White Mud’ explores this physicality, through a collection of porcelain objects that occupy and explore their own materiality – exposing the elemental material behaviour of this extraordinary ‘white matter’. Meanwhile, Emily Speed will be responding to the Museum’s globally important collections to create a performance artwork, Hollowware, drawing in the connections to the waterways that supplied materials and distribution networks for the Museum of Royal Worcester factory. Speed’s work is being produced for The Ring, a Canal & River Trust ‘Arts on the Waterways’ project in 2018.
The exhibition also unfolds throughout the Museum, introducing contemporary work into the displays where the newly renovated Museum’s collection is presented to create a conversation between the new and historic objects.