Display: 5 July - 28 September 2014
Bernard Leach (1887-1979) is often recognised as the ‘Father of British studio ceramics’. He mixed with some of the leading artists of his day, including Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Terry Frost amongst others. Born in Hong Kong and later moving to St. Ives, Cornwall, Leach was the youngest ever student to be admitted to the Slade School of Art and went on to study at the London School of Art. His designs are beautifully conceived works of art and his studio in St Ives has been nurturing and developing talented crafts people for generations as they follow in his footsteps. Leach adopted the ethos of the Arts and Crafts movement and was a great admirer of its key exponents, specifically William Morris and John Ruskin. Blackwell is the Arts and Crafts House and we celebrate craft artists throughout history to bring the continuing story of the Arts and Crafts movement to life. It is only natural that we would want to honour the father of studio ceramics with an exhibition that explores his harmonious and elegant designs whilst highlighting that his practise grew out of the Arts and Crafts movement.
Leach defined his approach as marrying together the East with the West, coining the term ‘head, hand and heart’ to express the sense of wholeness sought for his pottery. This display will explore Leach’s use of harmonious design alongside his mastery of colour, texture and form.