Bird bowl - Viv Pert

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London View Inspiration Details

Artist Statement

Viv Pert

Bird Bowl shows the influence of a number of exhibits in the V&A.

The form of the Bird Bowl:
The principal influence on Bird Bowl is the seventeenth-century Wine Cup of Shah Jehan (IS 12-1962), a bowl based on the shape of an animal, where the artist has used the animal’s head curving round the rim of the bowl to form a handle. In Bird Bowl I have replaced Shah Jehan’s animal by a water bird. Another piece influential in the design of Bird Bowl is Box in the form of Eight Geese (FE. 57-1983). Like the Wine Cup of Shah Jehan this is also carved from nephrite jade and is from the seventeenth/eighteenth-century. One of the geese has its head turning back on itself, as seen in Bird Bowl. I have chosen cherry as a high degree of finish can be achieved, as seen in the nephrite jade pieces.

The design of Bird Bowl:
The style and form of the water bird in Bird Bowl has been influenced by two Chinese pieces created centuries apart. One is Duck, a painted earthenware grave good of the fourth/fifth-century (C.814-1936) and the other Peaceful Spring, a work on paper of 2016, (FE70-2017).

The decoration of Bird Bowl:
Specific pieces influenced my choice of decoration. The punched outline of a wing came from the incised lacquer on a seventeenth-century Chinese Lacquer Folding Screen (130-1885). The lines suggesting the bird’s feathers came from a seventeenth-century English silver basin (M.10-1974)

The carving of Bird Bowl is finished and I am currently sanding it. My aim is to produce a highly polished surface using the finest grade of sandpaper. I will then apply the punched decoration and a finish of wax or varnish. It will be completed by the end of March.

Bird bowl - Viv Pert

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Inspiration details:

Wine cup of Shah Jahan

Wine cup

Mughal empire



V&A collection reference number(s):
IS 12-1962, FE. 57-1983, C.814-1936, FE70-2017, 130-1885, M.10-1974

Exhibition Guide

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