29th Jun 2004 - 25th Jul 2004
On Tuesday 29 June 2004 an exhibition of Rupert Spira's ceramics opened at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, showcasing some of his new work for the first time in the UK.
Rupert Spira is one of Britain's most acclaimed studio potters and this exhibition travelled to the Sainsbury Centre from an exhibition tour of Japan.
The pots on display comprised bowls, cylinder vessels and large jars. Spira combines ceramic vessels with poetic texts in this collection - his austere pots are embossed with text or poetry, or otherwise etched with intricately fine lines that create a surface dialogue through language and texture. Trails of text and pattern drift across the pots, seemingly endless, luring us closer, inviting us to inspect the nature of these beautiful, ethereal ceramic forms.
Rupert Spira said: 'I first visited the Sainsbury Centre as a student in the early 1980's to look at the work of Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, as well as the extensive and inspiring collection of so-called Primitive Art. It never occurred to me then that my work would become part of that collection. So what started as a source of inspiration has also developed into a source of support and encouragement, and I am deeply grateful to Lisa and the late Sir Robert Sainsbury as well as many of the members of staff, for all that they have enabled on both fronts.'
Amanda Geitner, Head of Collections and Exhibitions said: 'Ceramic work in the Sainsbury Collection spans 5,000 years of creative production, from the Jomon 'cord-marked' pots of ancient Japan to the modernist studio pottery of Lucie Rie and Hans Coper. A body of early work by Spira is already in the collection. This exhibition of very beautiful new work extends our understanding of the possibilities of the vessel form.'
A catalogue is available from Cornerhouse Publications.