The Precious Clay: Porcelain in contemporary art

Dates: September 2018 to 20th March 2019

Laura White was commissioned by meadow arts to make a new work for the exhibition.

White Mud by Laura White. Porcelain, metal, wood and paint. 653 x 290 x 253cm. 2018.

Laura White presents a collection of porcelain objects that occupy and explore their own materiality - exposing the elemental material behaviour of this extraordinary 'white matter,' such as through the artists hands-on manipulation, and the processes and techniques used in the production of porcelain objects, such as casting, handbuilding, glazing and firing. Working with the materials capabilities and limitations, such as the collapses, breaks and cracks exposes the vulnerability and strength of the material, while also offering up new and challenging possibilities.

Laura's installation reflects on a relationship to the production of porcelain today, such as to how the digital environment has impacted on porcelain production, from handmade museum collectables, to the mass-produced digitally designed slip cast crockery we use every day in our homes.

The installation makes reference to MoRW unique collection. Key objects from the museum have been digitally scanned in order to make 3D printed replicas, which have then been used to make moulds to cast from. Similar moulds have also been made from everyday more familiar objects, such as plastic containers and fashionable household ornaments, which combined with the museum copies perform a medley of interactions.

Bringing these different types of objects together using the same material, conflates different histories and questions how we value objects depending on their materiality and the context in which we come across them - the museum to the domestic, the perfect to the damaged, and what our expectations are of different materials, in particular porcelain.

This collection of objects is mounted on a bespoke shelving unit which both elevates the work while also grounding it in a workshop ethos, where these individual porcelain pieces have experimentally come into being.

Laura has been making the work at Rochester Square (Ceramic Workshop), Camden, London.