LONDON — Artist Matthew Raw is a storyteller, though instead of reaching for his pen and paper or laptop (like I do), Raw chooses to reach for a bag of clay and tools. His first solo exhibition Clad took place over ten days at the Ragged School Museum during London Craft Week (May 9 – 13, 2017). Raw used contemporary ceramics to examine the relationship between Britain’s manufacturing past and its evolving craft culture through a series of eight sculptural ceramic artworks, Raw explains to Creative Boom.
“Clad is about the relationship between the urban environment and the transient populations that pass through it. There are numerous physical traces on the urban landscape that different cultures and social groups leave in a given area over time.”
Raw says he was inspired by the idea of urban grids found in tile and brick facades and paving, while in his residency at V&A Museum in 2015
“I was exploring ‘the tile’ and had access to their unbelievable archive of objects. There was no pressure to produce final pieces, so that experimental time was crucial to push ideas in a free environment. But I wanted the tests and concepts to develop, and that’s where ‘Clad’ came from. I found the Ragged School Museum, which is the perfect fit for the show complete with brilliant and supportive staff. After all of that it was a case of pulling the research together and communicating it to the Arts Council in a funding bid. At this stage it’s more of a logistical challenge marrying project management with intensive making in the studio, as the exhibition will be made up of entirely new work.”
Creative Boom spoke in an Q & A with Raw about ceramics, craft inspirations and the importance of history in manufacturing. You can read the entire interview here.
About the artist: Matthew Raw is based in London and is a founding member of Studio Manifold. Exhibitions, residencies, collaborations and workshops all play important roles is his personable, varied practice. “My work focuses on people and place. I respond to real life accounts and look for forms and materials to communicate my thoughts.”
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