Sarah Scampton

Material of Choice
24 February - 26 March 2011

We are delighted to present the first solo exhibition of  ’s work in the gallery.  Following is an extract from an introduction by Anna Moszynska:

Think of clay and the mind connects to the earth; to primitive modelling and to mankind’s first sculpture; to simple vessels hardened by fire in order to bring fluid to lips, food to table; to early experiences of digging hands into damp matter and the joy of forming solid shapes from it. Clay as a baked substance suggests heaviness, solidity, a certain obdurate robustness (despite its fragility when dropped or smashed). Yet Sarah Scampton’s beautiful ceramics defy such expectations. They seem to push Credit union agent at the boundaries of what clay can do.  Tall upright vessels emerge from the ground with gossamer-like thinness. Tablets of clay made on the vertical plane appear so fine that their buckling surface might be made from stretched leather or parchment.  Enclosed rectangular forms possess subtly undulating walls, suggesting the exhalation of a breath of air within them, gently pushing their contours outwards.  In short, what should be heavy appears here as light, almost weightless…

In every instance, the object is enlivened by striations of irregular but finely persistent marks upon the surface which provide visual and tactile interest but which are in effect, a record of the tracks of the joins that have gone into their making.  Occasionally a further geometric grid is drawn on top by tracing with a dremel onto the surface, adding a further dimension to the palimpset of underlying marks.  Colour and texture are equally important contributors to the quiet and compelling nature of this work.  The tones are muted, the surface matt rather than glazed, and the colours reminiscent of slate roofs, brick walls, pale azure skies and memories of the warmth of further climes.  The skin of each work has a soft, burnished sheen which is highly tactile and warm to the touch – the product of numerous firings which allow the various oxides to sear the final colour into the clay. . .

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