Year | 2015
Size | H80cm x W30cm
Medium | Earthenware
Hailed as the father of the British studio ceramic movement Leach's work underpins the vast majority of ceramic works created in contemporary Britain, with both positive and negative affects. The functional items that left his studio in Cornwall have lost their functionality as they cease to occupy the kitchen cupboards and instead take pride of place in any 'serious' ceramic collection.
As an artist I never cared for Leach's work. Heavy brown pots. Over the last year I've spent a long time re-evaluating my relationship to the father of the movement I find myself occupying. Leach's work was fundamentally flawed. Leach aimed to create work for the 'Everyman'. But his work is not. Do ceramics actually work in a contemporary western society? Ceramics work in the east as there's a higher appreciation for them. In a mass produced age maybe the 'Leachien' ideology is doomed to fail, even if it is what contemporary society needs.
This reflection is both a homage to and a dressing down of Bernand Leach. A tribute to a champion and an insult to the flawed creator. Functionless functional ware, this piece embraces the honesty Leach preached, admitting that it will never be used but existing fundamentally because the maker wanted to make it.