Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

Born: 1935
Died: 2013

Gwyn Hanssen Pigott was a central figure in the history of contemporary ceramics in the 20th century and she retained a remarkable presence in the 21st century ceramic movement.  She specialised in still life groups of pots, predominately in porcelain which presages installation art.  The Scottish Gallery held a solo exhibition of Gwyn Hanssen Pigott's works in August 2008 and Pause is the final piece from this series and shown for the first time since 2008 in our special 175th anniversary year.

'I started making the still life groups during a visit to Paris. I came across the huge 1972 retrospective exhibition of the artist Giorgio Morandi, who at that time I didn’t know anything about. He was a great artist of both landscape and still life. I just loved his work, I had never come across anything like this that I responded to so much. His still life groups were so very quiet, very intense, very pulled back. I started looking more and more at Morandi's work, but because of the pots I was making at the time, I didn’t connect Morandi’s still life paintings with my own work. They were just stored at the back of my mind" Gwyn Hanssen Pigott.

'I once wrote, before I knew pots like these by Gwyn but it might have been about her, 'the objects in the middle, my main concern, are about life and still life at once. They can be used but their function is partly frozen in reflection about themselves ... Objects such as these fill the gap between prose and poetry, between ordinary and breathtaking, combining both. What is remarkable in Gwyn's work from the last twenty years or so of her long potting life is the vitality, the movement and the poise, flow and stasis of these clusters and strings of rhythmic and repeated forms.' Alison Britton, July 2008 (The Scottish Gallery Festival catalogue.)