January Blues 2021 | Part I

12 Jan 2021

This January we are turning our world blue; from the rich, sumptuous tones of Michael Becker’s lapis lazuli jewellery to the subtle, natural hues of Mary Bourne’s slate wall pieces and Harry Morgan’s architectural masterpieces in glass and concrete. There is much to discover and celebrate in the colour blue. January Blues runs until the 30th January and can be viewed in our Virtual Viewing Rooms here.

Each week we will explore the work of a selection of artists featured within the exhibition, giving you an insight into their beautiful blue work...

Harry Morgan

Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2014, Harry Morgan (b.1990) has exhibited widely throughout the UK and internationally. He has represented the UK at the European Glass Context, Denmark and the European Prize for Applied Arts, Belgium. As a finalist for the Loewe Craft Prize 2019, his work was exhibited at Isamu Noguchi's indoor garden 'Heaven' in Tokyo, where he received a Special Mention from the jury. His work is also held in the permanent collections of the Victorian & Albert Museum, The National Museums of Northern Ireland and The European Museum of Modern Glass.

You can view available work from Harry Morgan here.

January Blues 2021 | Part I
Harry Morgan, 2017
January Blues 2021 | Part I
Untitled, 2019, concrete and glass, H80 x W28 x D28cm, Photograph: Shannon Tofts

Despite being composed of the same elements, glass and concrete appear as conflicting materials. With unclear borders and internal dimension, glass reflects ambiguity and intangibility. In sharp contrast, concrete is brutally physical; the word itself is used to describe absolutes and certainties. Both materials have strong social, cultural and polarised connotations; from the sumptuous history of Venetian glass to the Utopian concrete of post-war Brutalism. The use of glass in my work draws inspiration from the ancient Venetian glassblowing technique, murrine; where each rod or thread of glass is individually pulled by hand from a furnace.

Harry Morgan, 2017
January Blues 2021 | Part I
Untitled (detail) 2019, concrete and glass, H80 x W28 x D28cm, Photograph: Shannon Tofts

Art of Glass: In the studio with Scottish based artist Harry Morgan - video curtesy of National Museums Scotland.

Paul Scott

Paul Scott (b.1953) lives and works in rural Cumbria. He has been a professional artist for over thirty years and is best known for his research into ceramics and print. He creates individual pieces that are exacting and critical, blurring the boundaries between fine art and design. A leading proponent of ceramics and print, he has been instrumental in demonstrating the contemporary creative potential of a combination used in industry for hundreds of years to mass-produce decorative wares and tiles. In 2010, he designed thirty linear metres of the record breaking Hanoi Mosaic Mural in Vietnam. Confected, Borrowed and Blue... an Installation by Paul Scott toured throughout 2015 - 2016 at various locations throughout the UK. His work can be seen in several public collections, including: Victoria & Albert Museum, National Museums Scotland, UK Government Art Collection, New York Historical Society (USA), National Museum of Wales (Cardiff), The National Museum Stockholm (Sweden), The National Decorative Arts Museum (Norway), Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (USA), Tullie House Carlisle Museum and Art Gallery.

You can view available work from Paul Scott here.

January Blues 2021 | Part I
Paul Scott in his studio
January Blues 2021 | Part I
Scott’s Cumbrian Blue(s), Garden After Stephenson & Mi Youren, 2014, collage, nineteenth century Staffordshire transferware plate by Stephenson with Chinese porcelain platter by unknown maker, H25.3 x W28.7cm, Photograph: William Van Esland

Over the years, my artworks have commemorated and examined a range of issues, from the Foot and Mouth crisis to the impact of energy extraction and production on our environment… I have inserted nuclear and coal fired power stations as well as wind turbines into pastoral landscapes, exploratory oil rigs in pristine arctic locations – and placed landscapes with fracking rigs onto cracked platters.

Paul Scott, 2016
January Blues 2021 | Part I
Scott’s Cumbrian Blue(s) Willow (Garden) Tray No:1, 2008, in-glaze prints with gold lustre on four porcelain cups and tray made by Anne Linnemann Copenhagen
January Blues 2021 | Part I
Scott's Cumbrian Blue(s), Scenery (USA), 2013, in-glaze decal collage and gold lustre on Mahomedan Mosque and Tomb plate by J.Hall & Sons c.1825, D25cm

Paul Scott film courtesy of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Lis Ehrenreich

Lis Ehrenreich (b.1953) studied at the Jutland Academy of Fine Art in Arhus, Denmark from 1976 - 1981, before establishing her own studio in Arhus. Her first solo exhibition was in Galleri Gammel Strand in Copenhagen in 1990 and she has since exhibited both nationally and internationally. Lis creates classical forms such as the Albarello jar - a pharmaceutical jar found in apothecaries. The timelessness of the form is emphasized by the structural, rustic expressions of the glaze applied to ornamental imprints in the wet clay.

You can view available work from Lis Ehrenreich here.

January Blues 2021 | Part I
Bluish Albarello Jar, 2018, glazed stoneware, H21 x W25cm
January Blues 2021 | Part I
Bluish Dish, 2018, glazed stoneware, H32.5 x W55 x D4.5cm

I find inspiration for the patterns in my surroundings, walls, books... everywhere.

Lis Ehrenreich
January Blues 2021 | Part I
Plate, 2019, glazed stoneware, H28 x W29.5cm, Photograph: Erik Balle Povlsen
January Blues 2021 | Part I
Lis Ehrenreich in her June 2019 show - The Danish Potter

Tsubusa Kato

Born into a family with a history of pottery making that stretches back to the Japanese Momoyama Period (1573-1615), Kato Tsubusa (b.1962) learned the art form at a young age. Even though he was not initially interested in ceramics, he decided to pursue pottery after travelling extensively in his youth. Upon graduating from the Tajimi City Ceramic Design Institute in 1979, Kato entered a studio where he mixed clay and worked on mass-produced pots. Within five years, Kato had built his own kiln in Tomika-cho and exhibited at the Asahi Ceramic Art Exposition. The rapid pace at which his career took off speaks to the true talent that he is. Currently, Kato is working exclusively with clay from New Zealand. He carves his works; sometimes incorporating fragments that have resulted from the force applied to the clay during this process back into the pieces. His works manifest motion, not tranquility. Random glaze reactions in the kiln and his formative process combine in complex ways to create his contemporary works of sharpness and tension that are often inspired by the sharp jagged edges of swords or knives. The rough surfaces serve to emphasize and accent the natural flaws in clay.

He is an instinctive artist and uses incredible physical force to manipulate a temperamental material. The end result is unforced, organic and speaks of nature. Public collections include: Tomo Museum (Tokyo), The Brooklyn Museum (USA), The Art Institute of Chicago (USA).

You can view available work from Tsubusa Kato here.

January Blues 2021 | Part I
Flattened Vase, celadon glazed porcelain, H41 x W21 x D7cm
January Blues 2021 | Part I
Bottle, celadon glaze porcelain, H20.5 x W13.5 x D9.5cm
January Blues 2021 | Part I
Chamfered Vase & Square Plate, 2014 (square plate sold), celadon glazed porcelain, H44x W12 x D11cm

We are very grateful to Sokyo Gallery who have produced a film that gives further insight into the work of Tsubusa Kato.

January Blues runs until the 30th January and can be viewed in our Virtual Viewing Rooms below where you can explore the exhibition and click on works for further information. We hope you enjoy exploring the exhibition virtually.

More News