‘In their element’ group exhibition of ceramics

The Olivier Cornet Gallery is delighted to present ‘In their element’, a group show of ceramics by gallery artist Annika Berglund and invited artists Sinéad Glynn, Lesley Kelly and Freda Rupp. Berglund has selected three ceramicists to join her in this exhibition, ‘In Their Element’, each chosen for their particular connections with one of these four elements. The show opens on Sunday November 15th and will run until December 13th.

“The idea of an exhibition based on the theme of the four elements, Earth, Water, Fire and Air connects with underlying fundamentals in ceramics.” – Annika Berglund

"Earth – Clay is Earth. Clay minerals typically form over long periods of time from the gradual chemical weathering of rocks. Without Earth we could not make ceramics.

I chose the element of Earth as this felt like it was a reflection of my current work where I aim to let the clay have its own voice, where textures of the work reference exposed earth, dried river beds and tilled soil fields.

Water – Water is added to make clay plastic and malleable. Working with clay you need to keep a close eye on the relative wetness or dryness of clay. Picking the right moment for different making processes is crucial as this has a huge impact on what the clay can take. Freda Rupp’s work is concerned with the effects of erosion and time. To me, the marks on her vessels look like channels and furrow created by dripping or running water, making this her element.

Fire – The magic of Fire transforms clay. Friable, fragile, reusable clay turns into the most enduring material of human manufacture of the last millennia. The element of fire has to be carefully controlled – if the fire is too fast the clay may explode, too slow and it may never get to the right temperature. Heat your kiln unevenly and you may get inherent weaknesses in the work. Sinéad Glynn uses fire directly to create colour and pattern that make her pieces unique. They draw attention to their birth in fire and bear the marks of this process. Fire is her element.

Air – Without Air there is no fire. To control fire is to control air supply. You need to know your kiln and how to control the airflow to fire ceramics successfully. In addition air inside the clay can cause entire pieces to explode. Lesley Kelly’s work seems to be as much about what is not there as what is there. A strong focus on negative spaces coupled with light airy forms make her ideal to engage with the Air element.”