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Tana West

MA work


There are many rivers that flow unseen under London, where once they flowed above ground they now are bricked over and buried beneath the asphalt. These watercourses shaped London, both its landscape and its history. I have been walking the routes these rivers took, searching for traces of their presence in the contemporary city. I seek out building works for access and extract the London clay from under the pavement in the vacinity of these forgotten streams.

I make glazes from the found materials: like some of the earliest ceramic glazes made from ash and local clay, they have a specific regional composition. The geological matter is expressed in the ceramic object; the fluid character of the glaze is an analogy for the containment of the watercourse.


  • Profile
  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Ceramics & Glass, 2014



  • I create work in the guise of a wandering bricoleur exploring where nature and culture intersect, making resourceful use of the materials at hand. I collect and use estuarine mud and excavated clay, brick and rock fragments to investigate the anthropogenic remixing and movement of geological material. This process usually begins with a map and a walk. Whether I'm mud-larking on the Thames foreshore, where the tide deposits a new configuration several times a day, or attempting to make concrete from basic principles, the objective has been to look at the construction of 'landscape' and the nature and composition of a contemporary city. 

    Dissertation (Distinction): Representing Uncertainty: The Object of Climate Change

  • Degrees

  • BA Fine Art: Sculpture, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, 2003
  • Exhibitions

  • Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Open, Bankside Gallery, London 2014; Ceramic Art London, RCA Student Show, London, 2014; Anima, Asylum, Caroline Gardens Chapel, London, 2013; Progression, 7 Wetherby Gardens, London, 2013
  • Awards

  • Sir Eduardo Paolozzi Travel Award 2013 ; Po Shing Woo Scholarship 2013