Thursday 21 November 2013

Gordon Baldwin in Stoke-on-Trent


White with Dark Piercings, Gordon Baldwin, 1995, (black earthenware body with white slip)

Not surprisingly, there is an extensive collection of studio pottery at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke. I had a quick look but we were too exhausted after a whole day of ceramic delights at the British Ceramics Bienniale (which you can see here, here, here, here, and here) to be able to look properly - a future visit is on the cards.

The studio pottery collection is definitely worth another look but there was so much there, and it was all so closely crammed together, that the taking of photographs is impossible. I managed to get a fairly good shot of the Baldwin however, which was the crown of the exhibition - but, then, as far as I'm concerned that is always the case with Gordon Baldwin's art.


  1. Indeed! So beautiful in its simplicity.

    I was looking forward to seeing another Baldwin at the Ashmolean today, one that I have seen lots of times before, but never tire of, but it was not on view this time. It was replaced by silverware so that the modern ceramics section is now half ceramics, half silverware - a pity. The Bacon Moore exhibition is just as you described it, Olga - moving and thought provoking. I enjoyed it a lot. But that is probably the wrong word to use, as there is absolutely no enjoyment involved when viewing Francis Bacon's work, not for me anyway. I find it very disturbing and I guess that is a testament to the power of the work, but I have very ambivalent feelings about him, but it was an excellent exhibition and well curated too.

  2. It is interesting Eirene that you hesitate at using the word enjoyment in relation to Bacon's work. I feel the same way about the word, because it is not strong enough. I feel a visceral connection to his pieces, and wish that in an ideal world I would have the courage to produce work like that. I feel that there is too much pleasant art in the world, that soothes and comforts when we should be shaken up and disturbed more often. I am however, in a minority of one with my friends!

    1. In theory I agree with you, Olga: art should shake and disturb and there is too much pleasant art that soothes and comforts - I could not agree more. I like art that challenges you and makes you think. But most of all art should 'speak' to you on an emotional level, uplift, while, maybe, in some cases, making you uncomfortable, and Bacon's does not do that to me. It just leaves me feeling all wrong. There is a lot I appreciate about his paintings, their sculptural quality for instance, which is very unique, I think. I find the isolation of his figures very moving, and I do understand the power of every single painting. But the only emotional reaction I have to them is negative, they just make me feel disturbed... I can't think of another way of expressing it. I am working on it though. I was able to look at the paintings at the Ashmolean for longer than usual and I left with a lot to think about.