Pots fascinate me because they embody and articulate nuanced details about society and culture. They are relics or signals of taste, social behaviour and cultural history. These everyday objects span social divides and convey very concentrated messages about their owners and their environment.
Matthew Warner is widely admired for the comprehensive body of elegant tableware which he made over the last four years. He is now moving away from functional ware in order to explore pots as a relevant medium through which to discuss themes relating to contemporary society. He sees pots are as being capable of communicating information, ideas and beliefs about lifestyle, status and taste: they are social objects.
Josiah Wedgwood provided the spark and reference point for Warner’s new work which is about the status of form, function and material and the perceived cultural and social value of the objects that we choose to have in our homes. He not trying to redesign Wedgewood pieces; rather, he is using these forms because he believes they are an appropriate vehicle through which to discuss these ideas. Imitating Wedgwood is not Warner’s intention: rather, he is interpreting his own work as a studio potter. He says: ‘Studio pottery is imbued with its own language and history, and it is through the juxtaposition of recognisable forms from our industrial age and the language of studio pottery that I hope to start a conversation.’