J Kay Aplin – Architectural Ceramics
Robert Dawson speculates that life would be unbearable without the vulnerability engendered by its inherent uncertainties and mysteries. He likes to focus on the disconcerting, uncertain element and his body of work can be summed up, in his own words, as “aesthetic sabotage.”
The artist applies advanced photographic deformation and computerized image processing techniques to tiles or plates, creating odd perspectives and deforming traditional decorative motifs. One such motif is the Willow pattern, often called Blue Willow, inspired by older Chinese designs. As well-known in England as Toile de Jouy is in France, this pattern originated in 17th-century England and was later copied by the Chinese who, in the 19th century, produced their own version of an English pattern that originally drew its inspiration from China.
Most of his work reflects considerations pertaining to the nature of the decorated surface. However, the artist does not manifest a desire to break with the past. Instead, he proposes to re-examine the past, preserving emotional distance by resorting to anamorphosis and deformation of the motif.
Laurent de Verneuil, Curator, ‘Le Décor est Planté’, Manufacture Bernardaud, Limoges, 2011