Claire Partington

The subjects for my work come from varied sources - contemporary culture, traditional children’s rhymes and folk tales. I’m fascinated by transformation tales and their imagery, from the traditional, up to the Power Rangers and contemporary kids’ cartoons.

The aesthetic inspiration is drawn largely from European Applied Art and Design styles from the 1600’s onwards. Underpinning this long European tradition of appropriation and reinterpretation or misinterpretation of “exotic” styles that can be seen in National Collections across Europe. I like the idea of getting it slightly wrong and the bluffing and “cobbling together” of styles that has produced some fantastic historical objects and continues most notably in the tradition of Outsider Art.

I started making sprigged vessels inspired by the salt glazed “bartmann” vessels, but with the look of tin glazed earthenware from the 1600’s. This evolved into the fully figurative vessels I’m making at present, starting with the bottle shaped mantua dresses. The figures often have interchangeable head “stoppers” to reflect the transformation of the subject and to allow a sense of play with the object.

My work has a very familiar feel to it due to the historical and literary references, even though it has its own very definite aesthetic.
My work is all meticulously hand built, using traditional ceramic techniques. Each piece is coil built, then the shape is refined before adding surface decorations of sprigged (press moulded) ephemera and enamel decoration.

  Ceramics / Ceramics Workshop – Kensington & Chelsea College
2000  Museum Studies PG Dip - Leicester University
1995  BA Hons Fine Art Sculpture (1st) - Central Saint Martins
1991  B Tec OND, General Art & Design (Distinction)

  Young Masters Part 2, Gallery 27, London
Young Masters Part 1, Sphinx Fine Art, London
Kinsgate Workshops Open Studios, London
James Freeman Gallery: at the Affordable Art Fair, London
2011  Kinsgate Workshops Open Studios: Studio Artists.
Voyages Extraordinaires: Claire Partington and Sam Branton, James Freeman Gallery
James Freeman Gallery: at The Affordable Art Fair, London
2010  James Freeman Gallery: Dynamic Array. Group Show
James Freeman Gallery
Cynthia Corbett Gallery: Young Masters Revisited. Curated by Matthew Reeves, Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London
Sesame Gallery: at The Affordable Art Fair. London.
2009  Sesame Gallery: Wunderkammer Chamber of Discoveries, Sesame Gallery
Sesame Gallery: at The Affordable Art Fair. London. 
2008  Sesame Gallery : Five Years, Group Show
Islington, London
2007  Inspired by... Victoria & Albert Museum, London




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