29 June to 15 September 2019
Elspeth Owen, Paca Sanchez, Lotte Scott, Emma Howell
Lotte Scott’s work characteristically crosses categories as much through materials as definitions. Land becomes liquid, solid becomes fluid, hilly becomes flat, drips are horizontal or vertical.
While everything is manipulated nothing is controlled - all is allowed its freedom
29 June - 15 September 2019:
Elspeth Owen, Paca Sanchez, Lotte Scott, Emma Howell,
Four artists form the core of this exhibition. Paca Sanchez is a modernist with plants, making exquisitely controlled art from formal arrangements of leaves, seeds, flowers, stems, twigs. Of French-Spanish origin, nature’s riches from her southern French studio form the nucleus of this show. Alongside her are Lotte Scott’s free forms from smoke, soil, lime: solid and evaporating elements which find their own way, dripping and billowing. Upstairs, Elspeth Owen’s thinnest egg-shell-like ceramics in painterly shades of blue-green-violet-grey reflect and create their own subtle and radical environment. Alongside her, Emma Howell, experiments with sensitive washes of thin colour to create almost abstract images of landscapes and plants, aiming to form a deeper relationship with nature and culture in her recovery from grief following her father’s death.
Paca Sanchez is a modernist. She organises plants, flowers, seeds, grasses in lines, grid-like formal arrangements, geometric patterns. There is a very satisfying strength and order to her work, yet it demonstrates above all how the properties of natural materials are dominated by their fragility. Paca is Franco-Spanish in origin and lives in Southern France.
Elspeth Owen lives and works in Grantchester near Cambridge in the former village cricket pavilion. She came to pottery via evening classes in the mid-seventies having studied history at Oxford University and worked as an academic, a social worker and a teacher. She says that in place of an art school training she taught on Simon Nicholson’s legendary Open University course Art and Environment and that ‘I have been a feminist since the time when it was called being a member of the Women's Liberation Movement and a peace protester since the Aldermarston Marches and Greenham Common.’
Elspeth makes the most egg-shell thin ceramic vessels, often part of installations which celebrate natural materials, journeys, women’s ways of life. Her work has been shown in Britain and in Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and USA.
She quotes essays from a book about her pots, coming round again (1998), designed in collaboration with her nephew, Webster Wickham, which call her ceramic work ‘odd...yet enjoyable, exhilarating, and contemplative’ (Gillian Beer), ‘more anarchic and rougher’ (Tanya Harrod) and ‘a lyrical sabotage of the conventional’ (Edmund de Waal).
Gloucestershire-based artist Emma Howell explores and reveals new methods of sensation and perception. She’s nurturing a new relationship with the world; a world that – after her father’s death – she had deemed tiresome and melancholic.
Emma’s encounter with grief compelled her to build a deeper appreciation and more colourful affinity towards nature, society and culture. Now, she pursues her life and art as an active adventurer and explorer, and through it has found a combination of tenderness and strength. She has found a means to be grounded, her work hovering between structure and fragility. All of her work is dedicated to her Dad, whose loss taught her how to embrace the adventure that life can offer.
Towards a feminist geography
Lotte Scott’s work uses natural materials, such as charcoal, lime, soil, in a highly experimental way, enabling them to flow and express their properties freely, finding their paths in the gallery.
Lotte Scott’s artwork explores place, time and material.
For the last five years her practice has focused on the peat moors of the Somerset Levels.
An interest in archaeology and local distinctiveness also informs her work.
It is not so much nature taking control as forms being facilitated and enabled to take their course