Standing and Running
This exhibition at Marsden Woo Gallery, London (2012) consisted of 12 hand-built ceramic works presented on three large plinths. Emphasis was on the application of colour through pouring slip, and then glaze, across the pots’ surfaces. This exploitation of superimposed fluid shapes/trails led to greater compositional risk and improvisation.
Extending Britton’s concern with aspects of the ‘container’ and its representation through the broad history and culture of ceramics, this group of works explored the idea of flow and liquidity through form and surface. The new pots were larger than previous works; Float was Britton’s largest horizontal form made to date.
Initially, a number of red clay bodies were tested for their fit with slips and glazes within the normal firings of Britton’s buff clay pieces. A series of vertical jars were constructed, some in buff clay and some in red. Britton’s return to red clay followed a residency at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan (2010). These upright forms were rectangular or oval in cross-section, or a combination of both, and the pieces were animated by cylindrical ‘pipes’ that alluded to conduits, ornaments, limbs, spouts, handles. The second series were plate-like forms on flared bases, likewise in both buff and red clay. The red and buff versions echoed each other in quasi 'pairs', though each was a discrete object. The individual title of each pot made reference to water, as did the exhibition title. A critical essay by Brigit Connolly was available in the gallery.
The exhibition was previewed in Crafts Magazine and reviewed in Ceramic Review and the Australian magazine Ceramics Art and Perception. The pot Watershed was later shown in the exhibition ‘The Perfect Place to Grow: 175 Years of the Royal College of Art’ (London, 2012-13); Outpour is now in the ceramic collection of the V&A Museum.