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Press release

curators choice

The Anthony Shaw Collection is pleased to announce its new exhibition - ‘Curator‘s Choice’.

Recognising that a large proportion of the artists represented in the Anthony Shaw Collection had links with Camberwell College of Arts since the late 1950s, recently appointed Camberwell / V&A Research Fellow Amanda Fielding, decided to take ‘the Camberwell School’ as the rationale behind her choice. In conversation with Anthony Shaw, she discovered that ‘there was no rhyme or reason’ for this apparent institutional bias: ‘I never went to any Camberwell degree shows,’ says Shaw, ‘I bought what I liked.’

It just so happened that much of what Shaw liked was made by individuals who had trained or taught at Camberwell: Hans Coper, Ian Godfrey, Ewen Henderson, Karin Hessenberg, Mo Jupp, Gillian Lowndes, Jim Malone, Colin Pearson, Sara Radstone, Lucie Rie and John Ward. Examination of Shaw‘s extensive collection of abstract handbuilt forms and useful pots reveals a strong connection between his personal taste in ceramics - including a particular predilection for objects that suggest the unpredictability of material and process - and the broad approach to making clay objects long espoused at Camberwell.

Ewen Henderson provided one of the vital links between Shaw and Camberwell artists. It was Henderson who introduced Shaw to the work of Sara Radstone for example, suggesting that she bring her pots to show him at his workshop in the North End Road. Shaw consequently gave her two window displays in 1980, only a year after she had graduated from Camberwell, and started to collect her work from this period. In ‘Curator‘s Choice’, key works by Henderson, Radstone and Gillian Lowndes - three artists who, for Fielding, ’epitomise Camberwell‘s radical spirit of enquiry’ - are exhibited in close proximity.

Amanda Fielding‘s main research interests are contemporary ceramic practice, installation, intervention and artists‘s responses to collections. She is curating ‘Crafting with Richard Slee’ at the V&A Museum in 2010 and researching towards a book and exhibition on Gillian Lowndes.

A regular contributor to Ceramic Review, she has co-written books on Walter Keeler and Michael Casson (forthcoming) with Emmanuel Cooper. She is a member of the Craft Lives Committee, National Life Stories at the British Library, the Craft Acquisition Panel, Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead, and an adviser to the Art Fund on applications from museums and galleries. She is an external examiner for BA (Hons) Ceramics at UWIC, Cardiff.

Previously she was Curator of the Crafts Council Collection, London.

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