Midnight and Midday and Midnight Neckpieces, 2012
Midnight and Midday and Midnight brooches, 2013
Still life with two cups, 2005
Gwyn Hanssen Pigott
'Still life with 2 cups, is an example of the style of work for which Hanssen Pigott has now been acclaimed for decades. Simple, but in a refined modernist rather than rustic sense, the beautifully executed wood-fired vessels pay homage to the sensory domestic pleasures offered by the perfect teapot or cup.'
I've often heard mention of The Jam Factory in books and magazines, however yesterday was my first opportunity to see a collection of work from an institution which has spanned forty years. The Ipswich Art Gallery hosts a diverse array of exhibitions, events and children's workshops, and while I wandered slowly from plinth to plinth on the lower level, my dear husband took the children to Create with Clay on the upper level.
I am always drawn to exhibitions that delve in to the world and skill of craft, while crossing the divide usually noticeable between craft and art. Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, a renowned ceramicist, is known for bridging this gap with her work. But I felt the same could be said of any of the artists in the exhibition. I found the exhibitions title apt at addressing the dual nature of such skilled crafters and artists. From glass to metal, ceramics to wood, lighting to furniture, the diversity was as wide as it was inspiring; as you can see by the images I have shared above.
I was quite taken with the work of Gwyn Hanssen Pigott. Her elegant pieces, behind their glass boxes, made me want to touch them all the more. That last line from the didactic panel alongside Still life with two cups lingered with me all afternoon - 'pay homage to the sensory domestic pleasures offered by the perfect teapot or cup.' The sensory domestic pleasures offered by the perfect teapot or cup. So simple, so poetic, so profound. Do we not all have a tea cup that we always reach for first? Do we not appreciate the beauty in, say, a hand cut crystal candle holder as opposed to a variety store $2 version of the same. Do not beautiful objects bring beauty to our day and to our lives?
I took my musings with me as I joined my husband and watched my children so perfectly engaged with their own creative pursuits. A Picasso quote came back to me, 'Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.'