28 Aug 2020–30 Sep 2020


TJ Boulting is proud to present a group show exploring the diverse use of clay in art, connecting antiquities with contemporary artists working today. The earliest work in the show is around 4000 years old, the most recent completed just weeks ago. What is it that has drawn artists to use clay for millennia? There is a thread that weaves its way through clay's many guises that connects past and present together. The title CLAY™ refers to the raw material itself, which over thousands of years has straddled various art tribes - ceramics, pottery, sculpture – and with various degrees of proprietorship in each. The artists in this show have been chosen because they do not necessarily fit into a prescribed way of using clay, and have come to it from less traditional routes. Just as the ™ symbol alludes to an attempt to define what clay is used for, somehow clay has evaded ownership by one tribe even after millennia. The juxtaposition of antiquities with contemporary and modern works highlights their connections, disguising what is old and what is new: A Pre-Colombian zoomorphic pot from the Chorrera culture, dating from circa 1200-200 BC, feels as fresh as many of the contemporary works in the show with its expressive form and character. Each of these contemporary artists finds something different in the inherent properties of clay, be it nature, form, narrative, instinct, therapy, function – and shared for thousands of years in the antiquities that went before them.

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