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12/01/2022 - 26/02/2022

New Work - Sculpture


Steven Claydon - Lacrimosa

Centred on the concept of vanitas, a symbolic expression of the ephemerality of life, Claydon’s new body of work comprises four assemblages of small scale ceramic vessels developed using ancient Japanese firing techniques. Collectively titled Mines, Bombs and Spirits, the vessels are fired in an anagama hole kiln over a 60-hour period, in a process that initiates a symbiotic destruction and rebirth; at the end of which the transformed ceramics are exhumed from ash and cinder.

Evoking traditional Japanese stoneware and the associated ritual of the tea ceremonies, the forms are simultaneously made to resemble mines and grenades – referencing the divergent repurposing of ceramic vessels as handheld munitions during World War II. Myriad references to different cultures converge within the series, with allusions drawn to Nietzschean concepts of cultural belatedness, as well as Constructivist aesthetics as seen in the aluminium tables that support the objects. Through this multi-layered and symbolically charged material process, Claydon examines notions grief, ritual, death, and ultimately rebirth.


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St James's 8 Bury St, SW1Y 6AB