An exhibition by The Grantchester Pottery
Fri, 21 Sept 6 - 9 pm
Continues: 22 Sept - 10 Nov Thur - Sat , 12 - 6 pm
Looking back at Conceptualism from the vantage point of 1986, writes Glenn Adamson in Thinking Through Craft, the British artist Victor Burgin isolated the rejection of the action and the object as a particularly important breakthrough: ‘Art practice was no longer to be defined as an artisanal activity, a process
of crafting fine objects in a given medium, it was rather to be seen as a set of operations performed in a field of signifying practices, perhaps centred on a medium but certainly not bounded by it.’ The Grantchester Pottery, a decorative arts company comprising the artists Phil Root & Giles Round, operates along the lines of this slippery field of signifying practices and appropriation.
The name, perhaps itself a misnomer for the group’s variegated array of works and materials used, is partly drawn from the history of the idyllic rural village of Grantchester. It was here, for five years from 1909 that noted poets, thinkers and writers like Rupert Brooke, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, EM Forster and Virginia Woolf met to share their ideas and relax in the Cambridgeshire countryside. Today, it is perhaps better known as a popular tourist destination for history enthusiasts and bibliophiles.
Working with ceramics, printed textiles, hand painted furniture and wall murals, The Grantchester Pottery’s project at Rowing inaugurates their Interior Design Service with works specially produced for the home. The Grantchester Pottery will temporarily transform the gallery into a workshop; part studio, part showroom. Reminiscent of the pottery studio where the artist’s work, the space will become a place in which to develop, display and document their decorative works. Anthropomorphic glazed stoneware lampshades, plant pots and an incense burner are displayed amongst designs for patterned wallpaper and textiles, and furniture. Including design contributions from other artists such as Sophie von Hellermann, Dietmar Lutz and Sam Windett, authorship within The Grantchester Pottery’s output remains unattributed. Each uniquely made object bears simply the ‘GP’ emblem. A selection of these designs will also be placed, arranged and photographed by the artists in the homes of a number of TGP collectors. The documentation will be included in the show’s accompanying publication.