During my childhood I spent a great deal of time with my grandfather in the National Gallery in London (or ‘the Nish’ as he called it). This has given me a life-long interest in fine art and my taste is eclectic – my favourite painters include: Piero della Francesca, Frida Kahlo and Gaugin!
The early exposure to fine art has given me a strong interest in imagery and in illustration – impacting my training and other work considerably.
I continue to dabble with art projects: illustrated ‘books’ for my children; posters trying to capture my sense of urgency about the state of the world and collages (a particular favourite because it liberates one from self-consciousness about limited artistic talent).
My mother was a sculptress – maybe that is where my interest in ceramics comes from, though I don’t remember working with clay in her studio when I was a child. What I like about clay is its three-dimensionality and its solidity. I also like the mix of beauty and utilitarianism as well as the fine line between a pot that is handsome and one that is ungainly.
“The precise and the perfect carries no overtones, admits of no freedom; the perfect is static, regulated, cold and hard. We in our own human imperfections are repelled by the perfect, since everything is apparent from the start and there is no suggestion of the infinite. Beauty must have some room, must be associated with freedom. Freedom, indeed, is beauty. The love of the irregular is a sign of the basic quest for freedom”
from: The Unknown Craftsman, 1972, Soetsu Yanagi