Ewen Henderson (1934-2000) was one of Britain’s major ceramic artists to emerge in the 1960s, a student of the increasingly innovative department at Camberwell College of Arts, where he was taught by Hans Coper and Lucie Rie, the latter considering him one of her most important pupils. But Henderson had began as a painter, and brought a watercolorist and collagist’s sensibility to clay, treating his forms as much as a palette as an aspect of sculpture. Colour and texture soon merged with structure as Henderson explored increasingly pitted and fusing glazes and oxides, the pots of the early years opening out into far more complex shapes that explored relationships of space, interlocking volume and contour, and drawing as much on imaginary landscapes of the mind as places seen and felt. Henderson’s art was full of power, but was also playful and intricate, its full import still to be properly understood.

David Whiting