21 Nov – 20 Dec 2020  | THE CERAMIC HOUSE

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. In August 2020 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 mirrors his in their expression of joy.

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

The virtual opening 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 the launch of the new album The Joy of Isolation which was commissioned to accompany the exhibition. We played extracts from the album and interviewed the sound artists.

Our first ever online opening was a huge success and enabled all of the participating artists to join us from from Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania and Poland as well as the UK, which was a highlight as it took place during the lockdown and therefore mitigated the travel restrictions.

Contact Kay for further information about any of the artworks or artists in the exhibition.

Exhibition photographs

Beautiful photographs by Bernard G Mills

Virtual tour

The touring film that was presented at the virtual opening on the 21st November 2020.

The Joy of Isolation

Four sound artists were 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 were invited to listen to “The Joy of Isolation” album whilst visiting the exhibition.

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

Click below to listen to an excerpt or click through to the Bandcamp page to listen to all of the works. The album or individual tracks can be purchased on bandcamp.

Aural Detritus founder Paul Khimasia Morgan discusses The Joy of Isolation album in his blog post. He chats to participant Blanca Regina and plays sounds from the album by Embla Quickbeam and Joseph Young.

Blog post on Mixcloud:

Exhibiting ceramic artists

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.

Angular Animal by Sten Lykke Madsen

Sten Lykke Madsen

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.

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Priscilla Mouritzen

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 Women from the 18th Century in Garden

Afsaneh Monemi

Afsaneh Monemi’s playful creations allude to fantasies and daydreams; transformations that emit positive energy and joie de vivre.

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Chris Barnes

Chris Barnes’ method is wheel-throwing, intuitive by definition. Random application of sumptuous bands of colour energises his designs.

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Virginia Graham

Virginia Graham’s forms reveal an eclectic amalgamation of nostalgic form and imagery; the juxtaposition of contrasting hues and shapes radiate with intensity.


Robert Cooper

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.

LOL by Philomena Pretsell

Philomena Pretsell

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

Katie Netley’s ebullient stoneware sculpture effervesces with colour and pattern and exudes humour and good cheer.

Janina Myronova

Janina Mryovona

Janina Mryovona views the characters she creates as graphic novels; her illustrative style etches emotions into them such as wonder, anger, fear and joy.

Rūta Bartkevičiūtė

Rūta Bartkevičiūtė

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.

JOY is dedicated to Danish legend Sten Lykke Madsen

Instagram live chats with artists

Kay Aplin talked to some of the artists in JOY over the course of the exhibition on Instagram live. Click through to find out about the artists’ inspiration, working processes and what is joyful about their work.

Afsaneh Monemi

Janina Mryovona

Katie Netley

Philomena Pretsell

Priscilla Mouritzen

Exhibition shop

Artworks by all of the artists in JOY are available in the shop. We can source items that are not in stock or if you are looking for something specific by a certain artist please enquire.