The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2019 > Frances Priest: Influences of the East

Frances Priest: Influences of the East

22 June - 15 September 2019

Inspired by different cultures, places and periods in history, Ceramic artist Frances Priest’s most recent works will be shown among historic Chinese and Japanese porcelain from The Bowes Museum’s own collection, selected by curator Howard Coutts.


Using The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones as a stepping stone into exploration, Frances creates intricate and colourful ceramic objects that celebrate her fascination for ornament and pattern, using clay as a canvas on which she builds richly drawn and layered surfaces of inlaid line, glaze colour and enamel decals.


This exhibition looks at the colour, line and pattern in ceramics both from and inspired by the East. The remarkable vivid colours and patterns painted onto white porcelain of the historical works provides an interesting comparison to Frances’ contemporary explorations of ornamental motifs, surface pattern and colour. 

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.