17 March 2015

Tuesday is drawing day - 20th century ceramics at V&A

There was a time, a time almost before living memory, when I thought those "fancy cups and plates and vases" were boring, much of a muchness. But "the more you look the more you see" and over the years objects made of fired clay have interested me more and more, especially since trying my hand at it myself ... which gives an appreciation of the skill involved in producing the wonderful work that finds its way into museums, and also how these objects fit into history.

So it's a treat to go up to the 6th floor of the V&A - the lift to the left of the entrance is a stairway to heaven! Jo and I spent rather a lot of time looking (and oohing and ahhing) enthusiastically, rather than drawing. 

Any shelf would have had something of interest - or, something to make a drawing from. It was almost arbitrary to sit down in front of this -
The reflections obscure the big black vase by Jean Lerat (see it here) - and what initially attracted me was the central object, 25 little drawers beneath fanciful buildings, by Ian Godfrey (and the black "anxiety bowl" in front is by him too).

Seeing that the "sculptural form" was by Gillian Lowndes, I decided to draw that (nice and simple?) 
My "choice" of medium - soluble graphite. And don't those blobs on the top look like a row of birds on a wire?! The surface treatment (ie, glaze) is subtle, and the piece was made in 1968 ... but I do prefer Lowndes' later work, which incorporates wires....

("Choice" of medium - yes it's good to experiment, and yes favourites come and go ... and wouldn't it be so much easier - so much better! so much less to carry! - to always use the same thing, perhaps a certain type of pen or brand of pencil, at least when drawing "in the field" ... save the fancy stuff for working at home? Ah, dream on...)

Still with the graphite (and waterbrush) in hand, I quickly blobbed in the shadows of the shelf below, then added a vague rendition of the pots above, as well as careful note of their makers -

and went on, biro in hand, to attack Vase (1975) by Elizabeth Fritsch and the adjacent bowls by Mary Rogers, including "convoluted porcelain" -
Convoluted porcelain bowl by Mary Rogers (via)
The "convoluted" form simply doesn't work, and the biro marks that are meant to give tone are crude if not misplaced - but I shouldn't have abandoned it... even though the lure of coffee was too great!

After coffee, something more monumental - 
Form Series 1 by Goac Ron-Hoon (three trees and their foliage)
Adding the "dark areas", I found that they were often "light" areas - holes in the structure that depended on whether light or dark was behind them - conveying the "flickering foliage" effect that you get with trees. The piece is made of coils of clay, simple but subtle -

1 comment:

M Dow said...

Lots of fascinating ceramics and interesting sketches of them. Really like the trees by Goac Ron-Hoon.