Each week the team at Oxford Ceramics Gallery is working closely with a different artist to select a combination of images and words that celebrate them and their work.
Our first artist focus is Andrea Walsh.
Many thanks to Andrea for sending us some beautiful images to set alongside the images of the works that we currently have available at the gallery.
Andrea Walsh is an Edinburgh-based artist who explores ideas of preciousness, value and vulnerability in a series of exquisitely realised cast glass and porcelain containers. Her initial studies in Fine Art in Stafford were followed by a Masters in glass at Edinburgh College of Art combined with working closely with tutors in the ceramic department to explore techniques of mould making. Drawn ever deeper into exploring the visual, and tactile qualities of these two contrasting materials, Walsh was subsequently awarded a residency at the Wedgwood Barlaston Factory in Stoke with the Minton brand (2009) as part of the first British Ceramics Biennale. Here she deepened her understanding of process and materials, working directly with often several different generations of the same family all well versed in different industrial techniques that made Mintonwares so valued. Further studied at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland cemented her fluency with casting glass as she began to participate in a growing number of high profile exhibitions with, among others Adrian Sasson (TEFAF, Maastricht; Masterpiece, London); Officine Saffi, Milan (International Ceramics Prize 2016); Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh and Mouvements Modernes, Paris. In 2017 Walsh was one of twelve finalists in the V & A/Crafts Council Woman’s Hour Craft Prize. Works are found in the permanent collections of the V & A Museum, London and National Museums Edinburgh.
Amanda Game, 2018
An artist of focus and quiet dedication, Walsh developed this exquisite, ongoing series of works following a research trip to Japan. At once straightforward and extraordinary, they speak of preciousness and care, and reflect a deep consideration of formal values. The experience of Japan – and specifically the art museums of the island of Naoshima – provoked less a reinvention and rather an intensification of Walsh’s practice
Alun Graves, curator in the department of Sculpture,
Metalwork, Ceramics & Glass at the V&A, 2018
I make considered objects that are intimate in scale and place an emphasis on the interrelation
between components, and the concept of presentation. My work investigates ideas of materiality and
preciousness, and I am interested in encouraging a tactile, and possibly emotional engagement.
Using a palette of related materials, including ceramics, glass and metal, I am influenced by their
inherent qualities, shared working properties, and rich historical associations. Making by hand, using
traditional casting techniques, I begin all work by carving forms in plaster. I love this part of the
process, and I treasure these models as much as the final finished pieces. The shapes evolve and are
refined through every stage of making, as they are gradually translated into different materials through
the methods of lost wax casting and slip casting, grinding and polishing. Each piece is entirely unique,
sometimes displayed individually, sometimes positioned as part of a grouping of related works.