JOY is much needed at this current time to help us all cope with the difficulties we face. The inspiration behind the theme is renowned Danish ceramist Sten Lykke Madsen. His work has been created completely intuitively and one can’t help but smile when faced with his delightful creatures. This exhibition has been in planning for 2 years, however in August Sten passed away, leaving a legacy of an impressive career spanning over 60 years. This exhibition is dedicated to Sten Lykke Madsen, with a selection of artists whose work will light up this coming winter.

JOY presents an international group of established and emerging ceramists exploring spontaneity, improvisation and intuitive making techniques. Encompassing sculpture, vessels and wall-mounted ceramics, this selection of work affirms the high status of contemporary ceramics as firmly rooted within the global art scene today.

Exhibition open physically 2nd – 20th December

The virtual opening 21st November featured a tour of the house, introducing the current exhibits displayed in the context of Kay Aplin’s tiled installations, interviews with participating artists and extracts from the new album, The Joy of Isolation (details below).

Online exhibition 21st November onwards

Exhibition open physically 3rd – 13th December

The Ceramic House will be open to the public from 11-5pm on:
Sat 5th, Sun 6th, Sat 12th, Sun 13th (no appointment necessary)
Open by appointment at other times. Book on eventbrite here or contact Kay

The touring film that was presented at the virtual opening on zoom on the 21st November.

The Joy of Isolation 

Four sound artists have been commissioned to create improvised musical/sonic performances in response to the theme The Joy of Isolation, the results of which are available on cassette and as a digital download, on Bandcamp and The Ceramic House shop. Created in partnership with Aural Detritus Concert Series.. The album is available on Bandcamp here.

Visitors are invited to listen to “The Joy of Isolation” album whilst visiting the exhibition. Visitors are encouraged to bring smartphone and headphones. (Disinfected headphones also available).

Sound artists:
Blanca Regina
Embla Quickbeam
Paul Khimasia Morgan
Joseph Young

The exhibiting ceramic artists in JOY are:

Sten Lykke Madsen
Priscilla Mouritzen
Afsaneh Monemi
Robert Cooper
Janina Myronova
Rūta Bartkevičiūtė 
Virginia Graham
Chris Barnes
Philomena Pretsell
Katie Netley
Kay Aplin

Exhibition photographs here.

Sten Lykke Madsen’s work is defined by his improvisational method of hand-building coupled with random and thrilling effects achieved in the wood kiln. Each of his forms encapsulates joy in the purest sense, expressing the joy of being. Priscilla Mouritzen is also a woodfirer; she applies slips spontaneously to achieve intricate patterns that vibrate on the surface of her pinched pots. Afsaneh Monemi’s playful creations allude to fantasies and daydreams; transformations that emit positive energy and joie de vivre.

Chris Barnes’ method is wheel-throwing, intuitive by definition. Random application of sumptuous bands of colour energises his designs. Robert Cooper employs recycling as a mode of working, often using found objects as a starting point. The complex, alluring surfaces of his pieces convey new narratives harnessed from previous histories. Virginia Graham’s forms reveal an eclectic amalgamation of nostalgic form and imagery; the juxtaposition of contrasting hues and shapes radiate with intensity.

Philomena Pretsell’s creations are designed to evoke emotion; laughter and tears inform her working practice and, she hopes, those who view it. Katie Netley’s ebullient stoneware sculpture effervesces with colour and pattern and exudes humour and good cheer. Janina Mryovona views the characters she creates as graphic novels; her illustrative style etches emotions into them such as wonder, anger, fear and joy. The world portrayed within Rūta Bartkevičiūtė’s work is charged with positive energy; the essence of life permeates her bold, vivacious designs, expressing the vibrancy of being alive.

We are honoured to host this eminent selection of artists at The Ceramic House for our eighth exhibition. The vibrancy of the artwork on display is mirrored with the extraordinary, textured and colourful background of Kay Aplin’s ceramic installations that pervade the interior and exterior.

We dedicate this exhibition to Sten Lykke Madsen, who passed away in August this year, leaving a legacy of a career spanning over 60 years. This is one of the films Kay made during the lockdown (as part of her Lockdown Blog about The Ceramic House) presenting Sten’s work which is in JOY.

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