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Matthew Warner: Social Objects at Contemporary Applied Arts

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Young potter Matthew Warner is widely admired for the comprehensive body of elegant, functional tableware which he made over the last four years. For his first solo show, he has created a new body of work which represents a return to earlier passions and ambitions: it is the beginning of an exploration of pots as a relevant and powerful medium through which to discuss themes relating to contemporary society. Pots here are seen as being capable of communicating information, ideas and beliefs about lifestyle, status and taste: they are social objects. Josiah Wedgwood provided the spark and reference point for Warner's new work which will be shown at Contemporary Applied Arts, London in February 2018. For Warner, this work is about the status of form, function and material, as well as the perceived cultural and social value of the objects that we choose to have in our homes. He not trying to redesign Wedgwood pieces; rather, he is using these forms because he believes they are an appropriate vehicle through which to discuss these ideas. Imitating Wedgwood is not Warner's intention: rather, he is interpreting his own work as a studio potter. He says: 'Studio pottery is imbued with its own language and history, and it is through the juxtaposition of these recognisable forms from our industrial age and the language of studio pottery that I hope to start a conversation.' Warner observes that he is often asked this question by fellow artists: "Why do you make pots?" His answer is that 'through this work, I hope to explore why I think pots, the most social objects in our lives, convey a deeper message and hold more significance than is often realised. And most of all, I hope I am answering the question "Why do you make pots?" Matthew Warner graduated from Camberwell College of Art in 2012 with a BA (Hons) in Ceramics. His studies were followed by an apprenticeship with Julian Stair, who continues to mentor Warner. Warner is now working out of his own studio in Deptford. Contemporary Applied Arts (CAA) was established in 1948 to support and encourage the making of fine crafts in Britain - and to keep them firmly in the public eye. CAA is a membership organisation which boasts some of Britain's most innovative and influential contemporary makers.

Venue Details & Map

Contemporary Applied Arts

89 Southwark Street
+44 (0)20 7436 2344
Public transport:
Tottenham Court Road - walk up the road and take the third left into Percy Street. We are at the end, on the left.

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