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, right up to the Power Rangers and contemporary kids cartoons.
I started making sprigged vessels inspired by 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.
The aesthetic inspiration is drawn largely from European Applied Art and Design styles from the 1600’s onwards. Underpinning this is the long European tradition of appropriation and reinterpretation or misinterpretation of "exotic" styles that can bee 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 in the tradition of Outsider Art.
My work has a very familiar feel to it due to the historical and literary references, even though it has it’s own very definite aesthetic. “
- Claire Partington 2011

All Claire’s work is meticulously hand built, using traditional ceramic techniques. Each piece is coil built in earthenware clay as a vessel with a solid base. Then, the shape is refined before completing the head “stoppers” and adding surface decorations of sprigged (press moulded) decoration of contemporary ephemera. The work is then fired and glazed and finished with enamel decoration to reflect the subject of the piece.

Education
2003–08
  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)

Exhibitions
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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