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Sculpture in the Workplace - Canary Wharf

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

TWELVE new, monumental ceramics made in China by Felicity Aylieff will be shown for the first time in Britain at Canary Wharf as part of the company’s series of exhibitions Sculpture in the Workplace. Out of China: Monumental Porcelain runs from September 17 to November 23, 2007.

These large, porcelain structures are experimental, vital, and bold. Up to three metres in height they are described as truly impressive.

In 2006, during a sabbatical from teaching at the Royal College of Art, Aylieff took up residence at the Pottery Workshop Experimental Factory in Jingdezhen that helped arrange for her to work with a family business specializing in making ‘Big Ware’ – enormous traditionally-formed and decorated porcelain vases.

Aylieff used traditional techniques of building and decorating, but moved away from Chinese form and surface pattern. Both she, and the Chinese technicians who helped and advised her, worked together in finding new ways to make shapes that were different from their tried and tested vases.

Aylieff not only worked innovatively with traditional pigments in expressive surface painting, she also carved into the surface of some works which, together with over-painting using Chinese calligraphy brushes, extended her practice of layering colours to gain great depth of surface.

Aylieff, who was born in 1954, has exhibited widely in group exhibitions and, since 1991, has had regular solo shows in Britain and Europe. Her work is intensely focused on surface quality, carried by simply shaped vessels and sculptural forms.

She has for many years been an advocate for blurring the boundaries between art and craft. Her work has been written about extensively, and her own articles have been included in magazines such as Ceramic Review.

The exhibition is curated by Ann Elliott who will discuss the exhibition with the artist from 1.15pm on Tuesday, October 23. Tickets are free, but places are limited and should be booked in advance.

Venue: Lobby, One Canada Square, London, E14 5AB.

Times: Monday to Friday – 5.30am to midnight; Saturday and Sunday – 7am to 11.30pm.

After Canary Wharf, the exhibition will travel to Gallery Oldham in February 2008, the first venue of a short tour.