Landscape : Islands is a unique collaborative project exploring the intersection between sound art and ceramic practice. Taking place over 14 months, during 2015-2016, ceramist Kay Aplin and sound artist Joseph Young took their exhibition In A Shetland Landscape as the starting point for a series of exhibitions, events and an international residency programme.
An exhibition of ceramics about landscape took place in May at The Ceramic House and the brand new gallery In Camera, a white cube space in the garden, accompanied by a curated programme of sound art events.
This was followed over the summer by an international artist residency programme at Phoenix Brighton for collaborations between two pairs of sound and ceramic artists and an exhibition of the resulting work at Phoenix Brighton curated by Aplin and Young for Brighton Digital Festival in September. In A Shetland Landscape transferred to In Camera, also as part of Brighton Digital Festival, and then a combined exhibition toured to Guildhall Museum, Rochester and Dover Arts Development project space in September-October 2016, in collaboration with 51 Zero.
Contemporary ceramics about landscape
The Ceramic House May 2016
Landscape : Islands brought together a group of international, renowned ceramic artists whose work responds to the theme of landscape/islands. Many of the artists live on or come from islands, and their work responds to the landscape around them.
Paul Scott’s work commemorates the grounding of the oil exploration rig the Kulluk on the Arctic island Sitkalidak. Delfina Emmanuel from Sardinia draws inspiration from the rock formations, coral and anemones of the Sardinian coastal landscape in creating her exquisite vessels. Charlotte Thorup’s work responds to the experience of living on the Danish island of Bornholm, combining porcelain and stoneware in her wall-hung sculptural pieces. Owen Quinlan, from Ireland, uses the surrounding landscape of Galway as the focus for his work.
Three Scottish ceramists: Patricia Shone, from Skye, Andrew Appleby from Orkney and John Jacobs from Shetland all make work using elemental firing processes including raku and wood firing at their island potteries. Anne-Marie Jacobs uses aerial photographs of Mersea Island in Essex to inform her vessels, which she arranges into installation pieces. Sussex-based artist Carolyn Genders has been creating work for 35 years using landscape as her primary source of inspiration.
Kay Aplin presented elements of a body of work produced for her joint exhibition In A Shetland Landscape with sound artist Joseph Young, the results of a residency exploring the Shetland landscape. A new configuration of this exhibition was installed in the new gallery, In Camera, at the Ceramic House as part of Brighton Digital Festival in September 2016.
Sound art events at The Ceramic House
Accompanying the exhibition, Joseph Young, in partnership with Aural Detritus, curated a programme of sound art performances during the exhibition, including collaborative performances by Paul Khimasia Morgan and Dan Powell and Steve Beresford and Blanca Regina.
For the inaugural residency, two pairs of sound and ceramic artists collaborated on new work in response to the theme of landscape/islands throughout August 2016.
The ceramic artists lived at The Ceramic House and used Kay’s studio facilities at Phoenix Brighton, Brighton’s largest and longest-running artist-led studios. The two sound artists visited regularly, using Joseph’s sound studio, also at Phoenix. Aplin and Young curated an exhibition of the resulting installations at Phoenix Brighton as part of Brighton Digital Festival in September 2016. Simultaneously, and setting the context for the Resident Islands residencies, a touring version of Young and Aplin’s installation In A Shetland Landscape was exhibited at IN CAMERA with new ceramic pieces made especially for the space.
The culmination of the project saw the project go on tour to Kent, to two venues; a temporary exhibition at the Guildhall Museum, Rochester and a one-off performance event at Dover Arts Development (DAD) project space, both co-produced with 51 Zero.
A selection of ceramic work from the exhibition at The Ceramic House in May was displayed in the stunning Guildhall September 23rd – October 6th, with a special launch event on the opening night with a sound performance from Joseph Young and film extracts from Rochester Mass by Margherita Gramegna. Additionally the Landscape : Islands catalogue and CD (recorded in collaboration with Green Field Recordings) was launched and the debut of a documentary by Tela Films about the project was screened.
Exhibiting ceramic artists: Paul Scott (UK), Delfina Emmanuel (Sardinia), Charlotte Thorup (Denmark), Owen Quinlan (Ireland), Patricia Shone (Isle of Skye). And featuring In A Shetland Landscape (touring version) a unique ceramic and sound installation by Kay Aplin and Joseph Young.
A special Event at Dover Arts Development Project Space, on 8th October, marked the final event of Landscape : Islands, which showcased the In A Shetland Landscape installation (touring version), a sound performance by Joseph Young, and audiovisual performance by Ingrid Plum.