The exhibition Reflections, currently on show in the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, is an impressive mix of ceramics, painting and textiles from a group of artists who have either worked with, studied with or been taught by ceramicists Trevor Woods and Sinead Young.

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  “Everyone and everything that shows up in our lives is a reflection of a creative experience that happens in each of us. When we look back in our lives we can see many different facets reflected in who we are and how we are creative. Being creative is not just an isolated situation but a response to others who influence us as well.”

 I first encountered clay when studying at Down High School, with Trevor’s (my art teacher) infectious passion for ceramics it was unavoidable and I was hooked. Trevor has continued to encourage and support me in my career and it is such a pleasure to exhibit my ceramics alongside his beautiful work.

 Letters from the East

Vessels black, white and blue represent the three stages of the application of cobalt on clay as beautifully depicted in the Letters of Père d’Entrecolles. The French Priest, who was essentially practising industrial espionage, revealed details of China’s porcelain production in his letters written in 1712 and 1722. He described how the cobalt changed from a black powder to being buried by a white glaze and finally emerging from the kiln;

 'but the fire makes it appear in all its beauty, almost in the same way as the natural heat of the sun makes the most beautiful butterflies, with all their tints, come out of their eggs’

 Cobalt Dishes

An exploration of cobalt on bone china, experimenting with hand painted designs mixed with traditional Chinese tissue prints. Surface pattern is inspired by elements of the iconic Willow Pattern and the combination of stripes and geometric shapes with traditional Chinese patterns.

Using the industrial process of slip-casting, I design and create functional and sculptural forms, individually decorated using a variety of printing methods. I tend to work in multiples creating communities of pieces that gather together creating their own unique dialogue. Pieces both functional and decorative, intend to question common values of the function of a form, enabling the viewer to alter their feelings on a particular object. Current work is inspired by my love for blue and white ceramics reflecting on the historical importance and influence of traditional patterns used on pottery. This is an experimental body of work exploring the use of cobalt on multiples of cast bone china vessels.

Images taken on the opening night by Conor McAfee. Above Rebecca Killen Ceramics. Below works by Trevor Woods, Sinead Young, Brendan McAfee, Ellen Woods, Alison Hanvey, Sean McBride, Carol Willey and Claire

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AuthorRebecca Killen