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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

An Audience with Fenella Elms

We were fortunate enough for our July talk to have ceramicist Fenella Elms in conversation with our Curator, Sophie Cummings. Many people will be familiar with The Flow Pot, acquired last year, in addition to 'flows', Fenella also makes ceramic edges and ceramic sculptures. It was really good that Fenella brought in for us a selection of her work and displayed it in chronological order; it was so refreshing to see what was being discussed. Fenella is very enthusiastic about her work, and working with clay which she enjoyed in the sixth form, and then was sidetracked into a career in psychotherapy, working in London and then in Swindon where she discovered the wonderful Swindon College ceramics course, and then was seduced by the art of making fabulous structures.
I took lots of photographs, and have taken ages to post this because I've found it hard to weed any out, we had microphone problems, so you may see a microphone being held in the photos.
 Above and below, Fenella and Sophie began by chatting about Fenella's early life and influences
 It didn't take long for Fenella and Sophie to begin looking at the pieces, Fenella is talking about the ceramic sculpture for the 'From Where I'm Standing' exhibition which opens on September 21st and  celebrates the connections and contrasts between modern art and contemporary ceramics.
 The piece Fenella used from the collection to respond to was The Peter Simpson Pot seen below:
and here's a close up of her piece:
From there Fenella went back to talk about the first piece she made, it's lots of skeletal type pieces joined together
 seen below:
 and then onto an 'edge' piece mounted in a frame

 another thin piece:

 and the piece on a stand in a Perspex frame showed how her pieces could be presented

 From there Fenella showed how her pieces looked when held up

 Sophie asked a question about a piece and Fenella went onto talk about the edging to it.

 Below you can see a framed sculpture, the piece for the 'From Where I'm Standing' exhibition and the Peter Simpson Pot in between them

 Talking here about how ot get the bubbles out of Perspex when sculptures are encased.
 And here's the fabulous Flow Pot, at the moment in one of the ceramic cases in the main gallery:
 I would like to thank Fenella Elms for coming along and sharing so much interesting information with us last Thursday, and to Sophie Cummings for such a lovely in conversation style. Looking forward to the 'From Where I'm Standing Exhibition' .

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