Poesis and immortality

What is behind the urge for making? I’ve always suspected it is something to do with our mortality and the desire to be around for longer than strictly possible, as well as just feeling like something that one needs to do. Plato’s Symposium, written around 360 B.C., considers a tea party dialogue on the meaning of love between Socrates and his mates, with the wise seer Diotima having issued advice on immortality to him. Her first point of this Benjamin Jowett-translated text  seems clear enough: Mortal nature is seeking as far as is possible to be everlasting and immortal: and this … Continue reading Poesis and immortality

On the tradition of pre-conceiving sculpture

This short clip is part of a Documentary film by Anna Thornhill. It features archive footage of sculptor Alan Thornhill working on a sculpture in Putney in 1989 and the resulting work, Exodus,  some 20 years later at Kingscote Park in Gloucestershire. Thornhill’s self-devised method of improvisation using clay allowed him to abandon the use of the sculpture armature and build freely creating a matrix with pre-prepared clay ‘elements’. His concern was to manipulate the material, to find ways of making it stand up or hold together, and through adding and taking away, to see what came. This allowed things to enter the work … Continue reading On the tradition of pre-conceiving sculpture

The human clay: Compton

It was magical to discover that the painter I studied with at The Frink School (and recently visited in Edinburgh) Ruth Addinall, had come across artist Mary Wondrausch‘s wonderful book Brickfields and corresponded with her. Wondrausch’s slipware has a historical resonance and is in the V&A Collection, but her broader talents have resulted in a house and garden to rival Charleston for colour and placement – her pots, her plantings, her paintings, historical kitchenalia and rustic European pottery… underpinned by her historical research on our relationship with food and writings exploring such curiosities as potted Char, salt and spice containers. We have … Continue reading The human clay: Compton