Contemplation at The Art Stable

THE Art Stable is in contemplative mood with the new exhibition. Contemplation, an exploration of contemporary ceramics and furniture, which runs from 1st to 29th August, features  ceramics by Adam Buick, Nel Faulkner, Jonathan Garratt, Ali Herbert, Nigel Lambert, David Roberts, Jason Wason, and furniture by the Wiltshire-based maker Matthew Burt.

On the walls there will also be a mixed exhibition of 20th century prints by artists including Edward Ardizzone, Elizabeth Blackadder, Mary Fedden, Terry Frost, David Hockney, R.B.Kitaj, Ana Maria Pacheco, John Piper, Patrick Proctor, Italo Valenti and Georges Valmier.

Gallery owner Kelly Ross says: “These past few months many of us have found ourselves enjoying moments of reflection … an opportunity to contemplate the world around us.”

Matthew Burt, who is based at Hindon, has been designing and making furniture for more than 40 years. His furniture is in many private and public collections, including the Fitzwilliam, the Ashmolean, the Crafts Study Centre, the Courtauld Institute and the National Museum of Wales.

He says: “As a furniture designer-maker I view timber as recycled sunshine and rainwater, requiring only nurture and confidence in the future to be there for us.  As a maker I seek to memorialise its innate sensuality, its generosity, versatility and myriad beauty.  As a designer, I accept the baton of the past aiming to dip it into our own times and culture, then to add to its design evolution, and to do so by appropriately solving the challenge of the design brief.”

Jason Wason, who made the Red and Gold Vessel pictured here, has worked for more than 40 years on the Cornish coast overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The landscape is rich with the history of the Cornish mining industry as well as the elemental forces of its ancient standing stones. Jason’s work is informed as much by this terrain as it is by his wider travels and appreciation of other cultures of the Americas, Africa and Japan. His works are in many collections; the red and gold vessel, made in 2019, has been acquired by the V&A for the permanent collection.

Nigel Lambert, who made the square platter pictured here, has an international reputation for his slip-decorated wood-fired earthenware. His thrown and altered pots combine bold contemporary shapes, with his unique style of decoration and strong sense of function. His pots are a combination of thrown and hand-built techniques. The decorative marks he makes reflect his interest in the work of abstract painters, particularly Roger Hilton, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron and other artists from the Cornish peninsula. He lives and works in the Forest of Dean.

Dorset potter Jonathan Garratt, whose jug is pictured, grew up with his father’s collection of Ming porcelain from Shanghai, bought in 1948, and narrow strip woven textiles from Sierra Leone from the early 1940s, which were used as curtains in the family living room. Pots and textiles were normal part of everyday life. He took a BA in archaeology at Cambridge, but opted for the life of a craftsman in the countryside.

He refines all his own clay for a natural feel in the work, firing all the pots with wood. Once thrown, the pots are immediately decorated while still turning on the wheel with homemade roulettes of fired clay, to print the surfaces with pattern.