29 October – 20 November 2022
Vernissage Saturday 29th October 11-4
Tuesday – Friday 11-6
Shetland Flora is a new body of work by Kay Aplin. It builds on work created for her exhibition In A Shetland Landscape at Shetland Museum & Archives in 2016, a ceramic and sound collaboration with Joseph Young.
During a residency in Shetland in summer 2015, Kay and Joseph explored the islands, documenting the sights and sounds of the Shetland landscape. Inspired by its bleak beauty, Kay drew her inspiration from the plentiful micro-flora blooming on the islands at that time of year. Every day, walking the landscape, she collected specimens she found growing underfoot, looking out for tiny plants containing interesting forms and patterns that could be translated into clay.
Kay used a digital microscope to capture the initial images, magnifying them to larger-than-life scale; to enter inside the structure of the plant and to see what the human eye cannot see. From these observations, she created prototypes in clay, and then created multiples by slip-casting porcelain coloured with a range of slips and glazes developed to reflect the colour palette of the plants.
Kay subsequently spent two years creating a new series of woodfired roundels of her Shetland flora designs, created in residence at Wood Firing Symposia in Kohila, Estonia and Guldagergaard, Denmark. Presented at Kaolin for the first time, the new work is arranged in roundels and individually mounted on the clay slabs they were fired on in the wood kilns.