New Ashgate Gallery champions the best of contemporary art and craft providing an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond
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Arjan van Dal creates functional ware that through simplicity of form and austere handling of material communicates honesty with a luxury touch.
Arjan was taught ceramics by a priest in an old abbey in the Dutch countryside. He spent his weekends there while studying engineering and philosophy. After an initial career in international governance, including long meetings where he dreamed of creating things himself, he decided to move back to ceramics. He now works from his studio in north London.
Arjan's functional ware is inspired by 12-17th century Jingdhezen monochrome porcelain and modernist design. This is reflected in his form and function. Also, the austere life of the monks and priests in the abbey, which he observed during his years with Father Raymundus, resonate through in his work.
Colour is always important. The monochromes are created by imported stains and oxides, which are worked manually into the porcelain body to create solid coloured materials. Having initially worked with softer tones, the palette is moving to electrifying colours: the strong red, yellows and blues of the royal Chinese monochrome porcelains.
Arjan's choice to throw every piece singlehandedly focuses on the slow process of making and ambition is to make forms as perfect as possible. His work may seem understated but it shows his maker's marks: for example, a line inside a pot is a proof of the uniqueness of each object.
NAG works in partnership with Crafts Council for the Hothouse Programme, the intensive development programme for emerging makers. Arjan participated the programme in 2016.
New Ashgate Gallery
Waggon Yard, Farnham GU9 7PS