Women and Pattern, the latest exhibition in The Bowes Museum’s refurbished ceramics gallery, will showcase the unique work created by ceramicist Charlotte Hodes over the past decade.

Hodes is a British artist whose work crosses a range of processes and is renowned for her large intricate papercuts and ornate ceramic vessels. Central to her work is the exploration of the female figure and its relationship to decoration and pattern. She uses standard vessel forms and everyday tableware, which she treats as her ‘canvas’, to build up rich and complex surfaces through a direct process of drawing and collage.

The display includes work from her Fragmented Images exhibition as well as examples of her work from her forthcoming installation After the Taking of Tea.

Two overriding themes in Hodes’ work, that she proposes to address in this display, involve the relationship between the pictorial and the pattern, and the representation of women. Her display will present examples of work from her time at the Spode factory and the Wallace Collection, up to the present day, and will include vases as well as examples of her tableware.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to present my contemporary work amongst the ceramics collections at The Bowes Museum,” she said. “The space offers a formal display for what I hope sets up a dynamic narrative between the historic Collection and my own practice.

“In addition, I think that there are links to be made between my practice, in which women are central, and the role and presence of the Museum’s founder Joséphine Bowes.”

Charlotte Hodes studied Fine Art at the Slade School of Art (UCL) in the early eighties. She was the recipient of the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2006 and is currently Professor in Fine Art at London College of Fashion. Her work is held in a number of public collections including the British Council, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Brighton Museum and New Hall Art Collection, Cambridge.

Charlotte Hodes: Women and Pattern opens at The Bowes Museum on Saturday 13 October and runs until Sunday 24 February 2019.

The Bowes Museum is open daily from 10am – 5pm. For further information visit or email 


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.