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Old ceramics inspire new work

  • Date: 12 March 2012
  • Area: South West
Ceramics in suspended display cases

Plymouth Porcelain: A New Collection. Credit: Clare Twomey

A new exhibition inspired by the Plymouth Porcelain collection features pieces of porcelain which have been cast from objects nominated by the people of Plymouth.

The exhibition - which recently opened at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery - is part of New Expressions, a Grants for the arts funded project to enable regional museums to commission new work and join forces with contemporary artists.

The work pays homage to Plymouth Porcelain and the work of Devonian William Cookworthy - the first maker of hard paste porcelain in the UK. Ceramicist Clare Twomey invited Plymouth residents to loan their ceramic objects for re-casting. She selected 33 of these to re-cast in a pure white porcelain, now displayed in suspended cases as a new heritage.

Clare Twomey says: 'The work creates a contemporary perspective on usage and taste and the desire to use, own and love objects in our home. It connects our own relationship to porcelain to the historical collections at Plymouth'. 

Objects were suggested for various reasons - in celebration of friends or family or because of related emotions and memories. Against the backdrop of the Museum's historic Plymouth Porcelain collection, the commission looks to the future by capturing the stories of people today.

Over the coming months, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery will be working with schools, community groups and students in response to the exhibition as well as running a number of related events.

Plymouth Porcelain: A New Collection is at Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery until 2013. Other New Expressions exhibitions will be taking place in Exeter, Bristol, Barnstaple, Falmouth and Cheltenham.