Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Joy of Food - Lund Gallery 25 September 2011

A summer of working on my own exhibition has kept me away from other galleries and boy, how I have missed it! Stella Adams-Schofield and I had our lovely preview of The Read Threads: Emerging Talent on Saturday 24 September and the very next day I was on my way to the Lund Gallery at Easingwold near York, clutching my preview invite to their new show The Joy of Food. I was definitely in need of a treat after months of hard work and was not disappointed. It's not the largest space in the world being converted from farm outbuildings and it was crammed with eager punters when we arrived. Juggling the price list, a glass of juice and my notebook while trying to see and identify the mass of work and avoiding bumping into people made it a bit of struggle and maybe not as relaxing as I hoped. But what a feast for the eyes, there was a marvelous selection of ceramics and glassware plus relevant textiles like Joanna Kinnersley-Taylor's printed tea towels and some lustrous linen cloth whose maker I couldn't identify.

Lou Rota mug
As a keen collector of studio ceramics I recognised several of the makers immediately, I already own one of Lisa Hammond's teapots and there was a wonderful range of plates, cups and jugs by Kaori Tatebayashi whose work I also already own and adore. But alongside the old favourites there was a whole feast of makers whose work I wasn't familiar with. Nigel Lambert's bowls and plates first caught my eye, thick and chunky with splodgy bold paintwork which I really liked and incredibly reasonably priced. Sandy Brown is a more established artist and her big solid bowl and handled vessel with their blue, dripped splashy lines were full of movement while being earthily solid. A huge contrast were the china mugs decorated by Lou Rota with outsized stag beetles and other creepy crawlies - they really tickled my mum and she bought one with rose buds and black beetles crawling all over it.

Jack Doherty tea bowl
We both also loved the incredibly detailed tapestries by Amanda Gizzi with their food-based subjects, particularly 'Pasta al Uovo' (hope I spelled that right!) - a generously proportioned woman is shown pummeling pasta while the hens responsible for the eggs crowd round and watch. More birds appeared on James Campbell's rather mythic vessels, a single swift flies high over a wind-disturbed lake while trees toss along the shore, a large black crow struts arrogantly in a field. Wonderful, and there was so much more that I didn't spend nearly enough time looking at because I was completely bowled over by the work of St Ives potter Jack Doherty and my mind was made up, I had to have one of his gorgeous soft smoky surfaced porcelain pieces. I eventually chose a small turquoise and grey tea bowl with the most amazing texture and depth of colour.

A thoroughly satisfying and beautifully laid out show then. The colourful cauliflowers and bowls of cherries may have been removed by now but I'd heartily recommend a visit even if you have to imagine your own food.