LONDON — Sophie Southgate’s crisp ceramic cross-sections of jewel-like pitted fruit are intoxicating. Inspired by landscape and geometry, Southgate’s sumptuous Spectrum series delightfully plays with color, perception and negative space. Her vessels were showcased among works from 90 of the world’s top ceramic artists at the 13th annual Ceramic Art London (March 31 – April 2, 2017) at Central Saint Martins art and design school.
They are deceptively simple, playful ceramic pieces. Vibrant and eye-catching, but also highly refined. Pleasingly tactile, a combination of rough granular porcelain, smooth naked clay and matte blocks of colour sprayed into the interior negative spaces. They intrigue the eye, inviting the observer to pick them up and discover how light they are, while their ambiguous qualities raise questions about material and process.
Each unique handcrafted work juxtaposes smooth fleshy, sometimes marbleized, clay against a granular porcelain peel evoking a sense of tactility.
Her work moves between the boundaries of art and design, challenging our preconceptions and understanding of contemporary ceramics. She takes inspiration from the landscape, paring it back to abstract interpretations of space through basic geometric forms. She utilises colour and negative space to engage the audience and play with perception. Her work is ambiguous in nature and open to interpretation, raising questions about material and process.
About the artist: Southgate graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2014 with a First in BA Honours Ceramics, winning the Regina Lasker prize. Southgate spent the following year at Fireworks Clay Studios on the Graduate Resident program refining her work and exhibiting around the UK. In 2015 she was part of the National Welsh Eisteddfod and won the Y Lle Celf CASW Purchase Prize. In November 2015 Southgate was a runner up in a Nationwide design competition, Confessions of a Design Geek Bursary, making the final six. In early 2016 Sophie set up her studio, The Clay Room UK, where she continues to develop her ceramic practice, as well as teaching adult pottery courses and mold-making workshops. She also teaches children’s pottery courses on a holiday scheme program at Tonbridge School.
See more of Southgate’s work here.
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