The work here is from Cumbrian Blue(s): A Solo Exhibition of Recent Works by Paul Scott at the Erie Art Museum and Scott’s body of work, American Scenery, which is based on his travels, observations, and research into American landscape paintings and prints. American Scenery will be on Ferrin Contemporary’s booth at the New York Ceramics Fair 2014 (January 21 – 26).
Scott’s work superimposes or inserts non-traditional images into existing blue and white ceramics. He “clobbers” plates, which is a historical ceramic term for the practice of painting into existing pottery and then refiring it, in Scott’s case the clobbering is usually in the form of a decal or print. This approach to ceramics is not uncommon, but there are few artists who are as pointed in their appropriation or as knowledgeable about the technique as Scott. (For a more in depth explanation of clobbering read this week’s article by Garth Clark concerning Peter James Smith’s art.)
Scott works images of semi-trucks into “partially erased” Lozere landscapes of fluffy trees. A brute of a decaying naval supply ship occupies the center of a bone china plate whose border is a romantic circle of sailboats on a merry ocean. Scott seems to gravitate towards watery subjects: two that are represented here allude to recent news events, the ill fated Costa Concordia cruise ship and The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. The juxtapositions in his plate, Scott’s Cumbrian Blue(s), Fukushima are particularly edgy and complicated—the rim of a Blue Willow plate made in Japan in the mid 20th century is being licked by Hokusai’s iconic image of a wave from the woodblock print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
Research plays a key role in all aspects of Scott’s work—from investigating the technical methodologies of print transfers to the synthesis of historical form and contemporary artifact embodied in these works. The third edition of his book, Ceramics and Print, was published in December 2012: it was among the first to examine the synthesis of print and clay and explores both technical issues and conceptual matters.
Paul Scott is based in the Cumbria region of Northwestern England. He is Professor of Ceramic Art at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO), Norway and Digital Research Fellow at Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design, England. The third edition of his classic text, Ceramics and Print, was published by Bloomsbury/University of Pennsylvannia Press in December 2012. Recently Scott curated Horizon: Landscape, Ceramics and Prints at the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design, Oslo, Norway. His work exists in a number of private collections and in public institutions that include The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Gardiner Museum, Toronto; The National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden; The Museum of Art and Design, New York; The Museum of Decorative Arts Trondheim, Norway; and the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design, Oslo, Norway.
Above image: Paul Scott, Cumbrian Blue(s) – The Hartlepool Ghost Ships, 2013. In-glaze decal, gold lustre on bone china plate. 12″ diameter. Courtesy of Ferrin Contemporary.