My interest in the human-animal hybrid form began in 2003 with a work entitled Entre Chien et Loup where the figures began to sprout animal characteristics as a metaphor for change. A residency at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (2006) followed by 3 months at Hunter College in New York, in close proximity to the Met and it’s wonderful Egyptian collection, has developed this interest into a focus which offers a range of meaning and explores the relationship between humans and animals through symbolic representation. My sculpture is often inspired by archaic museum objects and grave goods and a response to their incomplete narrative and fragmented state. These artefacts include objects which demonstrate an approach to the animal world that is very different from our present day mix of exploitation and sentiment.
My interest in the past connects to the parallel between archaeology and psychoanalysis, disciplines which engage with literal and metaphorical fragments where layers are slowly stripped away to reveal hidden knowledge in order to understand more about ourselves and our ancestors. The archaeology metaphor is a powerful source of inspiration and Sigmund Freud’s own collection of archaic figurines includes several human–animal deities. Freud used the image of a fused human and animal to describe the way two dream images can be condensed together and this concept informs my current preoccupation with the idea that because we project our emotions onto inanimate objects, they may come to life when we are asleep….
The Cat (Woman) and the Dog (Woman) are the key recipients of this projection while the hare is a revered creature in numerous cultures. On a residency in Denmark last summer I often observed these extraordinary animals at relatively close quarters at the close of day and so it felt fitting to pay tribute to them - their speed and agility, their alertness to their environment – through the creation of two seated figures, The Guldagergaard Hare and The Danish Hare’s Sister.
2001 Professor of Ceramics, University of Westminster
1993-2001 Lecturer in Ceramics, University of Westminster
1980-1982 Harrow School of art Higher Diploma
1966-1969 Manchester University BA degree
2009 Artist in Residence Award II, International Ceramics Research Centre, Guldagergaard, Denmark
2005 Arts and Humanities Research Council, Small Grant in the Creative and Performing Arts. For Collective Traces; A response to the Petrie Museum
2001 British Council assistance for solo show in Perimeter Gallery, Chicago, USA
2006 Collective Traces, Institute of archaeology, UCL, London
Foundation Deposits, Artist in Residence Exhibition, Hunter College, New York, USA
2004 Christie Brown, Heidi Morstang, London Gallery West, Harrow
2003 Between the Dog and the Wolf, Kingsgate Gallery, London
Selected Group Exhibitions
2009 In the Mix, Pangolin London, King’s Place, London
Fire and Brimstone, Gallery Pangolin, Stroud.
Ceramics from Great Britain, Galerie fur Angewandte Kunst, Munich.
2008 Myths and Legends, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
Sterling Stuff 2, Pangolin London, King’s Place, London
Collect. Victoria & Albert Museum London. Represented by Contemporary Applied Arts
2007 After Life: Collective Traces, Egyptian Galleries, Manchester Museum
SOFA NY with Loveed Fine Arts, New York
Women Touch: Ceramics, Loveed Fine Arts, A.I.R Gallery, New York
Sculpture and the Figure, Rex Irwin Arts, NSW, Australia
2006 Collect, Victoria and Albert Museum with Cosa Gallery
2005 Body Language, Gallery Pangolin, Stroud
The Fragmented Figure, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff
SOFA New York, with Clay, Los Angeles, USA
Celebrating 30 Years, Crafts Council Shop at the V&A
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Musee National de Ceramique, Sevres, France
The Museum of Decorative Arts, Montreal, Canada
The Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Buckinghamshire County Museum, Aylesbury
York City Art gallery, Yorks
Longhouse Foundation, East Hampton, USA
The Museum of fine arts Racine, USA
Collective Traces, Paper given at exhibition seminar, Institute of archaeology, London, 2006. Published in “Ceramics Technical” Issue 23
Embodying Transformation, Paper given at the Fragmented Figure Conference in UWIC Cardiff and the Storytelling and Poetry Seminar at The International Ceramics Centre Guldagergaard, Denmark in 2005. Published in online journal “Interpreting Ceramics” No 8, 2006
Alun Graves, Review of Christie Brown, London Gallery West,
Ceramic Review March/April 2005.
Babette Martini, Review of Between the Dog and the Wolf,
Interpreting Ceramics No 5. 2004
Emma Maiden, Review of Fragments of Narrative,
Crafts ,Sept-Oct 2000
Edmund de Waal, Return to your Dust: Figuration as Transgression, from Fragments of Narrative catalogue
2000, reprinted in Ceramics Art and Perception January 2002.
Katy Bevan, Under Control, Ceramic Review, No 180 , 1999
Rosemary Hill, Review of Kingsgate Gallery show,
American Ceramics, Vol.12, No3. 1997.
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