4 December — 22 January 2012

Slipped presented the work of artists who bring a criticality to the history and materiality of ceramic. With Aaron Angell, Caroline Achaintre, Lucy Conochie, Coco Crampton, Mark Essen, The Grantchester Pottery, Lawrence Leaman, Phil Root, Giles Round and Jessie Wine.

Click on the image to see installation shots of the exhibition.


The approach that the artists in Slipped have taken to working in clay is as an extension of their performance, painting or sculptural practices, resulting in work that often takes the materiality of clay as a starting point for pieces that combine the tactile nature of ceramic with conceptual rigour.

Slipped highlighted the potential of Wysing to act as a catalyst for collaborations between artists; much of the work was created in Wysing's on-site ceramics studio especially for the exhibition. Works demonstrated an interest in folk arts, craft, British modernism and legacies of twentieth century art and design and included domestic, potentially functional objects, painted plaques, small installations and freestanding sculpture.

For Slipped, The Grantchester Pottery, developed by Phil Root and Giles Round at Wysing, presented its first full range of domestic wares in a postmodern palette. Drawing on historical precedents such as Roger Fry's Omega Workshops, The Grantchester Pottery is interested in collective approaches to production. 

Similarly, Coco Crampton pursues an interest in the heritage of traditional craft disciplines, creating idiosyncratic collisions of materials and processes that explore the polarised relationship between tradition and the modern, and their relative percieved values. Crampton's Bowers reference systems of growth and natural order; modular stacks of unitary components, branch-like wooden constructions, faux effects surfaces, and spiral growth patterns in hand thrown clay.

Sharing an interest in architectural surface with Crampton, Giles Round offered a Fuming Pot of sage to cleanse the gallery space as part of his Neo Brutalist series of works that take on the texture of broken concrete at Wysing. The Wasters, a number of selected clay off cuts become distinctive architectural forms presented on the classic, functional 606 Universal Shelving System designed by Deiter Rams in 1960. Mark Essen's clay pipe and ashtray presented an interest in the fine line between the functional and obsolete. Essen employs wood and marble shaped by use to display his ceramics which are small observational gestures formed in a material he finds complelling because of its long history and malleable but functional properties.

Aaron Angell's works act as an expressive homage to the common imagery of British psychedelic folk music. His expressive approach to sculpting and glazing stoneware resulted here in four individual intricate, abstract scenes that share common motifs and gestures. Lawrence Leaman's prints, Motor Mouth, 'A' and their air drying clay work Moon with Laces, take the contemporary suburban marginality of a Welsh border town as a starting point. Their graphic sensibility offers a visual counterpoint to the potential nostalgia of exploring ceramics.

Caroline Achaintre's work combines materials such as patent leather and steel with ceramics to create sculptures that are complexly attractive; a collision of materials that is at once appealing and repellent. Jesse Wine's sculpted stoneware forms, coated in rich layers of coloured boot polish, have a sumptuous erotic feel; their surfaces embody hours of layering, texturing and smoothing. This process of layering is made visible in Swimmin Pool and Always Fashion and matched by an overlaying of Wine's points of reference: contemporary consumer culture; design; pornography and traditional art from around the world.

Lucy Conochie's standing plaques and assemblages were an investigation into an ambiguous space between devotional painting, the sculptural object, and the still like within the history of painting. Each piece could also act as a linguistic signifier, with Conochie building a relationship between the languages of painting and poetry. These earthenware tablets referenced drawings and larger unmade sculptures. Phil Root's Party Pieces take some recurrent pattern motifs from his paintings, and presented them as a series of stand along coloured shapes in 3d.

Slipped was curated by Wysing's Artists and Programmes Curator, Elinor Morgan.