Ceramic artist Jenny Beavan’s is fascinated with water, and the geological changes it can create, and that fascination is borne out in the Water at World exhibition at the 45 Southside Gallery, Plymouth.
“Water saturates, shifts, seeps” she says in her diary kept during artistic residency in 2002 at Imerys Minerals, Cornwall, “explores, exploits, distracts, destroys, manoeuvres, penetrates, mixes, grades, attacks, finds a way, a path, a passage, dislodges, surrounds, circulates, gravitates, yet can be drawn upwards to form clouds.”
Jenny works closely with the materials found near her home on Bodmin Moor and aims to balance freedom of expression, and acceptance of the power of natural phenomena, in the portrayal of water’s interaction with clay as both defy natural pressures to be tamed or restricted.
She makes frequent visits to various sites in order to establish a sense of, and to further, her understanding of that place. She collects information and material to put back into the work. She induces cracks and cavities with the introduction combustible and non-combustible material, often with the intention to destabilise and create change. Then fluxing agents, such as feldspar and glass, are used for contrast and effect and to regain stability in the structure.
The aim is to portray the ‘nature’ of both porcelain and water as they share the same free spirit, both determining their own life force/equilibrium, defying unnatural pressures to be tamed.