IN THEIR ELEMENT, Ceramic Gallery, 14th January – 26th March 2023

As a young girl, Beverley Bell Hughes enjoyed making pinch pots, but this was discouraged during her training at Harrow in the 1960s: she was expected to make thrown, functional ware in the tradition of Bernard Leach and his followers. She eventually returned to hand-building pots and developed her own techniques of pinching and coiling clay to make sculptural vessels. These are inspired by the natural forms and tidal markings that she observes during her walks at Deganwy and the Morfa beach, near the Conwy river estuary in North Wales. She is a Fellow of the Crafts Potters Association and won the Gold Medal for Craft and Design at the National Eisteddfod for Wales in 2019.

Carine Van Gestel also favours the pinch pot technique to create semi-spherical bowls which she then wood-fires. Born in Belgium, she now lives and works in Machynlleth, often digging local clay near Borth beach and Clarach Bay for her work. She is interested in the geological markings of time in local rock strata and formations. Recently she has developed slab-built work in response to the marks imprinted on the landscape by our prehistoric ancestors, incorporating cup and ring rock carvings, lines, dots and circles into her work. She studied ceramics at the Royal Forest of Dean College in the late 1990s and was mentored by Jeremy Steward at Wobage Farm, Ross-on-Wye, in glazing and wood firing.

Kim Colebrook left her career in tourism to study ceramics, receiving an MA from Cardiff School of Art and Design in 2018. Her work is based around coal (‘Black Gold’) as a commodity and its significance in the economic and social history of South Wales. She compares this to the value of porcelain (‘White Gold’) in the 1660s when it was exported to Europe from China. She works in porcelain, creating layers of iron oxides in a Japanese method of working called Nerikomi – stacking and cutting coloured pieces of clay to create patterns. This serves as a metaphor for the ways in which history and memories are buried and distorted through time and distance. She won the 2019 Potclays New and Emerging Maker’s Award at the International Ceramics Festival, Aberystwyth.

At Cross Purposes – 14 February-21 April 2023, School of Art, Gallery 1 & 2

At Cross Purposes is a creative curatorial project supported by 56 Group Wales that has led to the production of new work and new partnerships, a touring exhibition and accompanying book. The title of the project reflects its mix of conversation, creative practice and curation. The project required that sixteen members of 56 Group Wales each be partnered with an invited artist from elsewhere in the UK and Ireland selected by the project director, Dr Frances Woodley. Each pair of artists were then invited to engage with her in a three-way conversation/correspondence using email. Thirty-two artists and a curator have thus been involved in this project, an ambitious enterprise that has required lively exchanges and considerable commitment during the difficult period that spanned the Covid-19 lockdowns when artists were often confined to their makeshift studios.

The exhibition, At Cross Purposes, accompanies the launch of At Cross Purposes: 3-way conversations between two artists and a curator a book edited by Dr Frances Woodley.

Asphalt Expressionism: Mobile Phone Photography of NYC Pavements 14 Feb – 28 April 2023 Oriel Tessa Sidey Gallery, School of Art

Photo of concrete sprayed with colourful graffiti
Red, White and Green (Harry Heuser)

In 1958, the US American painter Allan Kaprow abandoned traditional media and called for a ‘new concrete art.’ Jackson Pollock, he argued, ‘left us at the point where we must become preoccupied with and even dazzled by the space and objects of our everyday life.’ A few years later, in 1961, sculptor and installation artist Claes Oldenburg declared: ‘I am for the art of scratchings in the asphalt,’ the ‘art of ice cream cones dropped on concrete.’

Asphalt Expressionism showcases large-scale digital prints of New York City’s scratched, streaked and splattered sidewalks – impressions of which were gathered during the curator’s monthlong return visit to the Big Apple in the autumn of 2022 – to consider contemporary mobile phone photography, the most common mode of capturing the mundane and memorable alike, in the contexts of canonical art and its histories. In particular, the exhibition relates the visual culture of those stumbled-upon public spaces to the artworld of the 1950s and 1980s, of which New York City was widely held to be the capital. Autobiographical and interactive, Asphalt Expressionism invites reflections on the relationships between life, art and the museum environment.

Asphalt Expressionism was conceived by Harry Heuser, Senior Lecturer in Art History, Aberystwyth University.

150 years of Ceramics at Aberystwyth: The gift, bequest and funding of the Ceramic Collection at Aberystwyth University 1872-2022, 8 October 2022 – 8 January 2023, Ceramic Gallery, Arts Centre

exhibition poster with a shallow brown and beige patterned ceramic dish and a partial view of a ceramic figures head and torso

This exhibition is selection of the gifts, bequests and purchases for the Ceramic Collection to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the foundation of Aberystwyth University. Continue reading

‘Collaboration in Practice: British Lithography 1800-2022’ – 24th October 2022 to 27th January 2023, School of Art Galleries

This exhibition offers a visual narrative of British lithography from its beginnings at the turn of the 19th century to the present day. Many of the prints on show are taken from the Aberystwyth University School of Art Collections. Continue reading

Paul Scott: New American Scenery – Ceramic Gallery, Aberystwyth Arts Centre – 9 July-25 September 2022

Paul Scott is well known for his provocative, politically conscious work. He uses familiar transfer-printed tableware designs like the Willow Pattern to comment on our life and times. This exhibition features ceramics inspired by the so-called ‘American transfer-ware’ that was made in 19th century Staffordshire and decorated with imagery celebrating the new American republic.

Many of the pieces on display have resulted from periods of travel and research in the USA, when he studied examples of American transfer-ware and visited the locations depicted. Paul’s up-dated views reflect current events as well as historical, social and environmental change. Back-stamps are printed on the reverse of each piece. Part signature, part narrative, they often provide substantial information about the subjects depicted.

These ceramics have involved technical wizardry. The original visual motifs of central image and border pattern are manipulated and seamlessly altered. Undecorated antique pieces are over-printed with contemporary views. Sometimes the Japanese method of Kintsugi has been employed, applying a mixture of resin and gold leaf to joins and cracks, thus honouring the marks of time and use.

Paul Scott is based in Cumbria, North West England. This exhibition marks 20 years since his work was first shown in the Ceramics Gallery at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. His ceramics are now held in many important collections world-wide, including the V&A Museum London, The National Decorative Arts Museum Norway, The Museum of Art and Design New York, The Smithsonian Institute Washington and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He was awarded a PhD in 2010 by Manchester Metropolitan University, where he was Research Fellow from 2012-2014. From 2011-2017 he was Professor of Ceramics at Oslo National Academy of Art. His book on the creative application of print techniques to clay is considered a definitive text. Ceramics and Print London: Bloomsbury; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania 2013 [1994]

Jo Dahn June 2022.

Jo Dahn is an independent writer, curator and researcher. She is the author of new directions in ceramics; from spectacle to trace (Bloomsbury 2015)

Research in the USA supported by the Alturas Foundation

Research at Wedgwood, Spode and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London was supported by Arts Council England.

Mae Paul Scott yn adnabyddus am ei waith heriol a gwleidyddol. Mae’n defnyddio llestri bwrdd wedi’u hargraffu â troslun, gyda dyluniadau cyfarwydd fel y patrwm helyg glas, i wneud sylwadau ar ein bywyd a’n hamseroedd ni. Mae’r arddangosfa hon yn cynnwys crochenwaith a ysbrydolwyd gan y ‘llestri troslun Americanaidd’ fel y’u gelwir, a wnaed yn y 19eg ganrif yn Swydd Stafford a’u haddurno â delweddau sy’n dathlu’r weriniaeth Americanaidd newydd.

Mae llawer o’r darnau sy’n cael eu harddangos wedi deillio o gyfnodau o deithio ac ymchwil yn UDA, pan oedd yn astudio enghreifftiau o lestri troslun Americanaidd ac ymweld â’r lleoliadau a ddangoswyd yn y dyluniadau. Mae’r golygfeydd cyfredol a ddarlunnir gan Paul yn adlewyrchu digwyddiadau heiddiw yn ogystal â newidiadau hanesyddol, cymdeithasol ac amgylcheddol. Mae stampiau cefn wedi’u hargraffu ar gefn pob darn. Llofnod yw’r rhain yn rhannol, ond maent heyfd yn naratif, ac yn aml yn darparu gwybodaeth sylweddol am y pynciau a ddarlunnir.

Mae’r darnau hyn wedi’u creu drwy ddewiniaeth dechnegol. Mae’r motiffau gweledol gwreiddiol, sef y ddelwedd ganolog a phatrwm yr ymyl, yn cael eu trin a’u newid yn ddi-dor. Mae darnau hynafol diarddurn wedi cael eu gorargraffu â golygfeydd cyfoes. Weithiau defnyddiwyd y dull Siapaneaidd o’r enw Kintsugi, gan roi cymysgedd o resin a dalen aur ar linellau asio a holltiau, gan ymfalchïo yn yr olion amser ac ôl defnydd sydd ar llestri.

Mae Paul Scott yn byw yn Cumbria, yng ngogledd-orllewin Lloegr. Mae’r arddangosfa hon yn nodi 20 mlynedd ers i’w waith gael ei ddangos yn yr Oriel Gerameg yng Nghanolfan Gelfyddydau Aberystwyth am y tro cyntaf. Mae enghreifftiau o’i grochenwaithbellach ar gadw mewn llawer o gasgliadau pwysig ledled y byd, gan gynnwys Amgueddfa V&A Llundain, Amgueddfa Celfyddydau Addurnol Genedlaethol Norwy, Amgueddfa Gelf a Dylunio Efrog Newydd, Sefydliad Smithsonian Washington, ac Amgueddfa Gelf Sirol Los Angeles. Dyfarnwyd PhD iddo yn 2010 gan Brifysgol Fetropolitan Manceinion, lle bu’n Gymrawd Ymchwil o 2012-2014. Rhwng 2011 a 2017 bu’n Athro Cerameg yn Academi Gelf Genedlaethol Oslo. Mae ei lyfr ar gymhwyso technegau argraffu yn greadigol ar glai yn cael ei ystyried yn destun awdurdodol. Ceramics and Print Llundain: Bloomsbury; Philadelphia: Prifysgol Pennsylvania 2013 [1994]

Jo Dahn Mehefin 2022.

Mae Jo Dahn yn awdur, curadur ac ymchwilydd annibynnol. Hi yw awdur new directions in ceramics; from spectacle to trace  (Bloomsbury 2015)

Noddwyd yr ymchwil yn UDA gan Sefydliad Alturas

Noddwyd yr ymchwil yn Wedgwood, Spode ac Amgueddfa Victoria ac Albert, Llundain gan Gyngor Celfyddydau Lloegr.

‘+Positive’, Exhibition at the School of Art Gallery, 7 – 14 June 2022

An exhibition of work on the theme of climate change by student finalists in the 2021 and 2022 Art+Science Competition for the Gwenllian Ashley Art Prize

Art+Science, a Ceredigion based charity that is devoted to using the arts to raise awareness about climate change, has held an annual competition for the last two years for students at HE and FE art schools and colleges in Ceredigion. Robert Davies, speaking on behalf of Art+Science, explains that “Each year we invite the students to make a piece of art, in any media (film, painting, photography, fashion, textiles etc) that relates to the changing climate and the human impacts we see”. This year’s competition was called ‘+ Positive’ and asked for work that celebrates positive responses to climate change or mitigations to off-set human activity.

The finalists have been selected to exhibit their work at the School of Art, Aberystwyth University. The annual Gwenllian Ashley art prize, named in memory of the well-loved art curator, will be awarded at the opening event. The exhibition will also show work by the finalists from the 2021 competition. In all, 18 students will be exhibiting their work. This stimulating exhibition is on show from 7th – 14th June 2022 and members of the public are invited to come to see the work by new artists who have a vision for a better future.

In addition to the ‘+ Positive’ exhibition, Art+Science is involved in a variety of activities to help raise awareness of climate change, including working with primary school aged children in Ceredigion & Powys. Specialist teachers are providing specifically focused classes, workshops and field trips to promote a clear understanding of the science behind climate change, the challenges ahead and to offer a stimulus for creative responses from our young students, the emphasis being on positive change for the future.

Arddangosfa Goffa i Ddathlu Bywyd a Gwaith  – A Memorial Exhibition to Celebrate the Life and Work of John Jones(1932‒2021), 14 February to 29 April 2022, School of Art Gallery

This exhibition contains a selection of prints, lino cuts, etchings and screen prints including early work from 1953, made during John’s student days in Cardiff College of Art. Also included are his hand-woven rugs, experimental constructions using cork, string and metal stencilled letters, original lino blocks, etching plates and print-making tools.

For more information and to book your free visit, please click here: soaexhibition.eventbrite.co.uk