Carolyn Genders is a Singapore – born artist based in East Sussex. For 35 years she has been creating hand-built contemporary ceramics, reflective of the beautiful Sussex landscape, embracing the ancient technique of coiling. Her ceramic works are, as she calls them, “three dimensional paintings in clay”.
Carolyn has published two books and her work is featured in several other books and articles.
“Living in the country I cannot ignore the seasons and the consequent transformation of the landscape throughout the year. This influences my work and referring to landscape studies in my sketchbook and the marks and brushwork of my life drawings, I work intuitively on forms developed from organic sources. Responding to the material, enjoying the rhythm as I move around the form, I make marks of depth and variation, scratching and scraping through layers of slip, revealing the clay and emphasising the dryness of engobe or the softness of burnished slip; the silky surface emerging as polished as a sea worn pebble. I work spontaneously, creating forms and surfaces that evoke the feeling I have when I am part of the landscape, not illustrating it but striving to convey nuance of shape, balance and mass and creating mood and atmosphere.
Landscape in its loosest interpretation continues to be the inspiration for my new series of work: I had never lived with a view before moving to my current studio where to the north is a patchwork of woods and fields and the vastness of the Ashdown Forest and the Sussex Downs gently roll to the south. It’s a varied landscape that has influenced me greatly and not only visually. From my studio I observe the changing of the seasons and the rhythm of the year. As coiling is all about rhythm, I feel attuned to this natural beat. My cottage garden is also very important to me and this smaller scale more intimate landscape, where the play of light and shadow across plants suggests ever-changing abstract and sculptural compositions, often provokes a fresh theme or series of work.”