Jason Wason has lived and worked for over thirty years on the moors above St Just in Penwith, a wild landscape marked by the remains of Cornwall’s mining industry and ancient standing stones. His own work is informed by this location as much as by his extensive travels around the world and his knowledge of ancient and ceremonial pottery.
Wason’s ability to create timeless objects which reference ancient sacred traditions give them an added spiritual quality. The subtle, earthy and metallic colours are derived from mineral deposits excavated from the landscape near his studio. These are utilised in the creation of Wason’s technically challenging forms. The surface of his vessels rarely seem smooth, Wason’s preference is to sand and mark the surface, giving the pieces a worn, organically aged or eroded characteristic . The studded vessels are sparingly embellished with arranged studs or incised lines.
The lidded Temple Top Vessels, with their metallic or conical pointed lids reference Buddhist temples and sacred, symbolic containers. But, the surfaces of these unglazed vessels are not what you would call decorative in a traditional sense as he does not use glazes: “I play around with all sorts of materials some of which are used as ingredients in a traditional glaze, but the notion of putting a coat of glass one my clay has never really interested me. The clay itself is the skin of the object.”
The exploration of new themes is perhaps most apparent in the ‘Warmonger’ pieces, created over a number of years tackling head on the brutality of recent military campaigns which have seen a tragic impact upon civilian populations. He refers to these pieces as “small touchstones to humanity”.
“Wason is an outstanding craftsman driven by passion and strong beliefs. His originality, his skills and his willingness to pursue his own vision have all contributed to the creation of a challenging and engaging artist. The range and quality in Silent Witness will undoubtedly make us think, and at times make us uncomfortable.”