From sherds collected on Fife's beaches, to the highest shelves of room 137 at the V&A, to my mother's Coalport Willow Pattern tea set: Inspired by the V&A has taken me on a voyage of discovery. The original inspiration for my work was a small fragment of willow pattern china found during a coastal walk in Fife which I had used as a focus for a still life in my class at Morley. My quest for fragments of Ming dynasty porcelain at the V&A led me to explore further the museum's vast collection of blue and white ceramics which later sparked a memory of my mother's beautiful Coalport tea set. Initially I decided to paint a still life incorporating the cup, bowl and milk jug. This gradually evolved into a triptych, depicting fragments of these objects with a focus on the bluebirds in the design. I have experimented with various techniques, including acrylics, oil, collage and tissue paper to create texture. In the middle section of my work I have tried to suggest several ideas which emerged during the process. Art, history, time past and present and memory have all become intertwined conveying, I hope, a love and longing for those who have gone and a desire to connect with them. As Lars Tharp comments in his documentary "Treasures of Chinese Porcelain": "Porcelain makes time travel possible."
Dawson, Robert (designer) Josiah Wedgwood and Sons (manufacturer)
Bone china, transfer-printed in enamel
V&A collection reference number(s):
LOAN: INDIA. 27, C.300-2009