The Lakeland Arts Trusts regularly features ceramic themed exhibitions at Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House near Windermere, They also sell contemporary ceramics in the shop there. One of the current exhibitions in the house features the work of Emilie Taylor, a young potter from South Yorkshire who produces works that reflect her social concerns and interests.
As an emerging artist Emilie has had considerable recognition as a ceramic artist thus far; she is currently completing an artist residency at Chatsworth in Derbyshire and has had commissions from Grizedale Arts and Sheffield Museums and Galleries. She has had three small solo exhibitions, two in Sheffield and one at the Snug Gallery in London, and so Blackwell is in the unique position to offer Emilie her first high profile exhibition. (Blackwell website)
The majority of the works on display were large, cylindrical, earthenware pots with a two-tone glaze. At the top of the pots there was a floral type pattern like a flock wallpaper, based on a design by William Morris. The lower half has images of young residents of the Manor and Castle estate in Sheffield. They are portrayed in their everyday dress but represent mythical and religious figures.
Bus Stop Madonnas I and II
Blinded by the light
There were also examples of her Harvest food Jugs and others from her Hymn to Persephone produced during a residency at Chatsworth last Autumn. We’d seen them on display during our visit in October. They rather reminded me of some of the works of Bernard Leach that I’ve seen
In the smaller of the two rooms there was some information, including two videos, about her work and a commission for Grizedale Arts, Soup Run, six bowls she had created, which had images
The inside of the bowls depict scenes from the ‘Soup Summit’ of 2008. The end of a three year period of wrangling between Westminster Council, the Church and London Voluntary Sector Organistaions as Westminster Council tried to amend byelaws that would mean soup runs, or providing food to the homeless, would become illegal. The summit, (with all organisations represented), met at Tate Britain in 2008 to set up a Soup Steering Group to take the matter forward. Scenes from this period of political history have been drawn simply using scraffitto, resulting in naive or cartoon images and quotes the viewer can piece together in their own reading of the events.