A group of black basalt Wedgwood vases from The Bowes Museum collection helped provide Cumbrian artist Michael Eden with inspiration for his forthcoming show, Wedgwood and Wouldn’t – produced in collaboration with Adrian Sassoon - which opens at the Museum next month.

Eden is a maker whose work spans the crossroads of craft, design and art. Originally a studio potter of 25 years standing, a burgeoning interest in computers eventually led him to undertake an MPhil research project at the Royal College of Art from 2006-08, which allowed him to explore how his interest in digital technology could be developed and combined with his ceramics experience to discover contemporary ways of redesigning historical, familiar objects.

This in-focus display celebrates his Wedgwouldn’t Vases, the designs for which are loosely based on early pieces by Josiah Wedgwood, who was at the forefront of the first Industrial Revolution in the way he transformed how ceramics were made and the materials they were made from.

Eden has taken this one step further, heading up a new industrial revolution in the way he uses 3D printing to create beautiful objects that were previously impossible to manufacture using conventional ceramic techniques.

The Wedgwood basalt vases in the Museum collection form part of a group commissioned by the Mond family in the early 20th century to fill the niches in the Georgian gallery at Winnington Hall, Cheshire, the then home of ICI. They were presented to The Bowes Museum by the company in 2001.

“Typical of the neo-classical style that was very fashionable at the time, two of the Wedgwood vases depict scenes from mythology,” he said. “My interpretation brings these vases firmly into the 21st century, utilising new design and manufacturing technology and replacing the scenes with images derived from popular culture including Strictly Come Dancing and the X Factor television programmes.”

Eden describes his reinterpretations as an attempt to form a link to the culture of the present day, through an engagement with new tools and technologies such as 3D scanning and printing. Through this approach he creates narratives that comment on the world as he views it, particularly the way in which the physical world is increasingly entwined with that of the digital.

The display opens on Saturday 27 May, running until Sunday 17 September 2017.

For more information and/or high resolution images please contact sheila.dixon@thebowesmuseum.org.uk

For further information about The Bowes Museum, its exhibitions and events call 01833 690606 or visit www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

Notes to editors:

Michael Eden

For over 20 years Michael Eden ran a studio pottery with his wife Vicky, producing slip decorated earthenware, exhibiting widely and supplying shops, galleries and international department store.

Alongside the making of work, he has undertaken material experiments, particularly focused on 3D printing.

Michael Eden is represented by Adrian Sassoon (email@adriansassoon.com www.adriansassoon.com)




Categories: News

The Bowes Museum grounds are open!

Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Café Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.