New Ashgate Gallery champions the best of contemporary art and craft providing an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond
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My current work is hand built architectural forms which are coloured with slips, part-glazed and earthenware or raku fired."
Rowena's work is sculptural ceramics. Each of the pieces has its own character and they are distinguished by their individual surface texture, marks and features. Much of the work is evocative of abandonment - in particular the sombre, blackened houses. Although individually dark, empty and isolated, when grouped together they appear to form their own community, evoking human interaction and suggesting a human presence by its absence. She draws her inspiration from media images showing the aftermath of man-made disruption and environmental disaster, and also from time spent in coastal areas, particularly on Hebridean islands, taking photographs of weather-worn and derelict structures.
The ceramic process - particularly the rapid and unpredictable nature of raku (where the red hot ceramic is plunged into combustible material) - reinforces a sense of destruction and irrevocable change. The pieces show a real and implied history acquired by their passage through fire and smoke. Yet they how have a stillness and solitude. They become vessels for reminiscence and contemplation.
Rowena has been making and studying ceramics since her school days. She has a degree in Fashion Design from St Martin's School of Art, London, and then worked in fashion design for 8 years. She then spent two years living in California where she developed her ceramics whilst discovering and learning the process of raku-firing. On her return to the UK she completed a MA degree in Fine Art Ceramics. She has exhibited in California and the UK.
New Ashgate Gallery
Waggon Yard, Farnham GU9 7PS