Saturday 15 February 2020

Tighter, Tighter by Jemma Gowland

Tighter, Tighter,  by Jemma Gowland at the Bevere Gallery, Worcester.

'This work explores the way that girls are constrained from birth to conform to an appearance and code of behaviour to present a perfect face and maintain the expectations of others. The disrupted surfaces describe the vulnerability beneath'.

Gowland first trained for a BSc in Engineering product design and worked in the fields of industrial design, production and architectural model making before becoming a teacher of Design and Technology. With experience in making and using a very broad range of materials for a wide range of purposes, ceramics became an abiding interest with its unique versatility and surface possibilities.

She has studied ceramic skills and specialisms on a number of courses, before completing the Ceramics Diploma at City Lit, as well as life sculpture and figurative studies. Being a mother and daughter as well as a woman working in a male field, has led to an examination of the role of the female and how societal norms still shape the way children are raised.

The skirt is made of the whitest and thinnest porcelain I have ever come across. Gowland has warned that due to the fragility of the material, bits may come off and that this is natural and part of the nature of the work. As we were unpacking the sculpture, some very fine bits did indeed come off.

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