Derek Wilson


My practice as a ceramist centres on the making of a diverse range of contemporary objects – from the functional to the sculptural.  I always start with the same process, the potter’s wheel being my predominant tool, but my work is never static or fixed and in some ways reflects the multifarious identities of contemporary ceramics – a twenty-first century hybridization of studio potter and conceptual artist.  My ideas spring from a complex blending of the abstract to the familiar, evident in both the functional ware and sculpture that I make.  My objects, in their colour, shape and materiality, reference the ideas of restraint, containment and minimalism.  My search for a simplicity of form draws inspiration upon a diverse range of sources from mid-century British Constructivism to the history of the ceramic industry in Europe and Asia.  I work in celadon glazed porcelain and stoneware and my objects, whether they are made to be used or not, tend to be placed in groupings - evoking communality and sociability.  My aim is to push the boundaries of a traditional and diverse artform through playing with its aesthetics, materiality and processes.

Born  1977

Education
2005-07
  University of Ulster, Belfast
M.A. Applied Arts, Ceramics
2001-02  Crafts Council of Ireland
Ceramic Design Skills Course, Kilkenny (Distinction)
1996-99  University of Ulster, Belfast
B.A. Honours Fine and Applied Arts, Ceramics
1995-96  Bournemouth and Poole College of Art & Design
Foundation Studies (Distinction)

Exhibitions
2011
  Origin, Spitalfields, London
Cultural Connection’s, Collect in the Country, Guest of the Danes, Henley on Thames
Farmleigh, Dublin - Transform
Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London – Represented by the National Craft Gallery
4th Biennale Internationale Du Lin De Portneuf, Quebec
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield – Artists Showcase
Royal College of Art, London – Ceramic Art
2010  Origin, Spitalfields, London
Cultural Connection’s, Collect in the Country, Guest of the Danes, Henley on Thames
Roundhouse, Wigmore Street, (London Design Festival) Ceramics+
Leach Pottery and Museum, St Ives - FUNKtional
RBSA Gallery, Birmingham – The Art of Dining
Ruthin Craft Centre Gallery, Ruthin, 20:10
Royal College of Art, London – Ceramic Art
2009  Naughton Gallery, Belfast – White Christmas
Gallery Nine, Bath – Christmas Exhibition
Wexford Arts Centre - Gifted
Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair - Manchester
F E Mc Williams Gallery, Banbridge – Designer and Makers 2009
Harley Gallery, Nottingham – Irish Potters Showcase
Northern Ireland Contemporary Ceramics -
Hillsborough Court House
Merchant Hotel, Belfast
Craft NI Gallery, Belfast
University of Ulster, Belfast – Beyond Traditional boundaries
Space Craft, Belfast – Belfast Exhibition
2008  National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny – Breaking Out Exhibition
Space Craft, Belfast – Emerge and Infuse
Island Arts Centre, Lisburn – group show
Crafts Council of Ireland – RDS Dublin  
2007  New Designers Exhibition – London
University of Ulster – Master’s Exhibition
Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast – Ignition Group Exhibition
2006  Clotsworthy Arts Centre, Antrim – Ignition Group Exhibition
Flowerfield Arts Centre – Ignition Group Exhibition
New Designers Exhibition - London
Switch Room Belfast – Postgraduate show
2002  Design Yard, Kilkenny – Graduate Show
1999  Ulster Museum, Belfast – Royal Academy Annual Exhibition
University of Ulster, Belfast – Degree Show

Awards
2007  Craft N I, Making It Programme
Craft Council of Irelands 3rd Level Postgraduate Award
2006  Richard K Degenhardt – Beleek Collectors Scholarship

Commissions
2008
 25 Piece porcelain tea-set, Chief executive of the Arts Council for the boardroom, Mac Neice House, Malone Road, Belfast

Residencies 
2008  Guldagergaard Ceramic Research Centre, Denmark

Private Collections
Guldagergaard Ceramic Research Centre, Denmark
University of Ulster, Belfast
Arts Council of Northern Ireland

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