Listed in alphabetical order
Ronald F. Smith (born 1946) graduated from Glasgow School of Art (GSA) in 1969.
At that time the GSA was producing many of the best painters in the country and Smith, taught by Donaldson, Shanks and Robertson, was no exception. His work is inspired by his fascination with the Mediterranean and the Highlands of Scotland.
Best known for his sweeping yet subtle landscapes, their detail picked out delicately in slight, contrasting hues, Smith is unaware of how talented he is. He is highly regarded amongst his artist friends but overbearing self-promotion and relentless focus on his image as an artist does not interest him. Instead he paints away in his Glasgow studio with dedication and modesty, totally absorbed in creating his next painting, and facing the challenges it brings with integrity and creativity.
Private collections in England, Germany and USA.
Now based in the Cotswolds, and working regularly in Cornwall, Provence and the Isles of Scilly.
‘The subject in these evocative paintings appears to be made up of several reference points, superimposed together rather than one single view. Each piece is more of a compilation of layered visual moments, inviting the viewer to consider the reality of how one experiences the world.
The experimental use of paint with all its curious touches and surprising textures, is in complete philosophical agreement with the subject. The paintings are expressive, but modest, and not so expressionistic as to disturb the meditative quietness that inhabits all his works. Although abstract, the theme of the object is always present and visible despite its dissolving clarity’
Elsa Taylor lives and paints in her small cottage in the Cotswolds. Her inspiration derives from the surrounding countryside, from her travels to the Umbrian hills and from the dramatic beauty of the far north of Scotland and the coast of Cornwall – it is these very different landscapes that form the bedrock of her work.
The construction and composition of the landscape and also of flowers has sparked her interest in abstraction and a fascination with their colours, textures and patterns. Her paintings are of the heart and mind, an emotional response to the landscape. She has studied with Robin Child at the Lydgate Art Research Centre and his teaching continues to inform and inspire her work. His lectures and the subsequent intensive study of past masters has brought about an awareness and appreciation of art that changed the course of her painting.
Elsa has exhibited in London at The Mall Galleries and is a member of the Armed Forces Art Society. She won the Society prize in 2007 for her painting “Fort”, and the Thales prize 2011 for her painting “Ben Armine, Sutherland”
Royal West of England Academy, Briston
Bath Society of Artists
The Brian Sinfield Gallery, Burford
The Minster Gallery, Winchester
The John Adams Gallery, Ebury Street, London
The Merriscourt Gallery, Sarsden, Oxon
The Rosvik Gallery 2005 and 2007
Jerram Gallery, Sherborne
“The process being so notoriously technically challenging I am sure that all lustre potters take comfort in the oft quoted passage from the 16th century chronicler of potter Pilcolpasso – of Lustre he says – The art is so uncertain that of a hundred pieces hardly six are good ….. but when they work they are paid for in gold.
Hence the secrecy which has surrounded Lustre throughout its history and its connection to alchemy and fascinating accounts of secret kilns, firings taking place behind locked doors, secret glaze recipes and knowledge dying with the potter.”
Yasuo Terada is a fourth generation artist potter, working in the Oribe style from his studio in Seto, which is Japan’s oldest centre of continuous ceramic history. For 1300 years the chimneys of Seto’s numerous kilns have been alive. Setomono is the Japanese word for pottery, literally “things that come from Seto”.
Joanna Wason is a Cornish potter. She studied at Exeter College of Art and Liverpool Art School in the mid 1970s and then became a figurative and portrait sculptor rimarily working in clay, although much of her work was then cast.
In the 1990’s she began assisting Janet Leach at the Leach Pottery, St Ives until Janet’s death and continued at the Leach Pottery until its temporary closure and expansion in 2006. Here she started making her own slab-built and thrown glazed stoneware pots. She now works from her own studio near St Just. Joanna makes stoneware studio pieces in the Leach tradition and fires them in a gas kiln.
Her work is exhibited at Lemon Street Gallery, Truro and Withiel House Sculpture Garden, Cornwall.
“As well as figurative sculptures I make pots, and one great advantage of showing pots is that nobody ever asks ‘what’s it a pot of? ‘ but the same cannot be said of sculptures.
The idea for making these figures originally came from seeing extremely simple but compelling Mycenaean sculptures in books and in the British Museum, and wanting to try to make something similar for myself. As time has gone on they have developed their own identity.
To bring my sculpted figures to life I try to focus their attention on something, otherwise they can look self-conscious. They are often reading a book or listening to music, which seems to provide a frame, or at least a sense of containment.
The manipulation of the physical proportions in my figures is there to give emphasis, stature and visual strength; and also to ensure that they can never be mistaken for dollies.”
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.”
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