Interbeing – Silk Roads and Floral Routes




Dec 2021

Ceramic Wallpaper: Peonies

Sacred Flowers of China

New ceramic work by Kay Aplin featuring large scale wall-mounted porcelain tiled installations, inspired by traditional Chinese floral symbolism, will be compiled into a book, Silk Roads and Floral Routes, published in December 2021.

The peony is the official emblem of China and has great value in Eastern culture. An eternal symbol of royalty, honour and wealth, it is present in many religious festivals and traditions. The Chinese name Peony can mean “the most beautiful” and stands as a symbol of spring and female beauty and reproduction. The peony, most exalted of the Chinese symbolic flora, is a popular motif found on traditional Chinese porcelain.

Kay Aplin has designed and created a new body of work called Ceramic Wallpaper: Peonies, fired in Denmark in autumn 2019, where she was guest artist. The material is unglazed porcelain fired raw in the Embla, a large wood fired kiln for 6 days and nights. The colours and textures that resulted were caused by the flames and wood ash over the duration of the firing.

The Ceramic House, 
75 Stanmer Villas, Brighton BN1 7HN

Book launch at the

Interbeing Finissage

December 2021

The work will be compiled into an artist’s book called Silk Roads and Floral Routes that will take the peony installation on a tour of China. Contacts made during Kay’s research trip to China with co-curator Joseph Young in spring 2019 will be asked to provide photographs of walls which have some significance to the photographers, upon which the peonies will be photographically installed. The book will be launched at the end of the Interbeing project at The Ceramic House Interbeing finissage in December 2021.

More information about Silk Roads and Floral Routes will appear here as the project unfolds. Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page to hear about the latest news.

Inter-being is a Buddhist concept that comes from the Heart Sutra and, in the context of the Interbeing project, explores the cultural connections between two seemingly very different cultures, the UK and China. By starting from a point of similarity rather than distance, we hope to foster and encourage a deeper understanding between artists from the two countries, especially at this time when the challenges of Covid-19 are pressing us towards more open international collaboration.

Silk Roads and Floral Routes is part of the Interbeing project – an exploration of collaborative ceramic and sound art practice in Britain and China. Throughout 2021 at The Ceramic House.

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