Joanna Bird ceramics and glass exhibition opens at Pitzhanger Manor Gallery

Image: Duet – Emmanuel Boos

A Fine Line: Modern Makers at Pitzhanger

Chiswick gallery owner Joanna Bird has curated a new modern ceramics and glass show which opens at the Pitzhanger Manor Gallery in Ealing on Wednesday 8 May.

She has chosen work by ten established artists from four continents, whose work she thinks might have amused Sir John Soane, whose house it was. The show,  ‘A Fine Line: Modern Makers at Pitzhanger’, runs from Wednesday 8 May to Sunday 4 August.

“Soane was fascinated with materials and contemporary innovations” Joanna told The Chiswick Calendar.

“One of his gifts was the element of surprise: this will be the theme running through A Fine Line.”

Images above: Another Blue, Undo IV, Hanne Heuch

Sir John Soane was one of Britain’s most influential architects. He built Pitzhanger Manor between 1800 and 1804 as his dream country retreat, to show off his skills as an architect and house his eclectic collection of art and antiquities, which included Hogarth’s series of paintings titled A Rake’s Progress and four paintings by Canaletto.

Soane used the manor to entertain friends and used to go fishing in the local streams, but he only lived there a short while as his plans for it to be a family home fell apart. The Manor has recently been refurbished and the trustees regularly show modern art throughout the house and in the Gallery.

READ ALSO: Julian Opie’s LED sculpture Curly Hair bought by Pitzhanger Manor

READ ALSO: Two new art exhibitions for spring 2024 at Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing

Images: Green Remembrance, Nicholas Rena; The British Museum, William Empson, Prue Cooper

The artists featured in the new exhibition are: Emmanuel BoosPrue CooperSteffen DamJoseph HarringtonHanne HeuchTom PerkinsWilliam PlumptreNicholas RenaJudith RoweMatthew Warner and Gregory Warren Wilson.

Click on their names to read more about them and see more of their work on Joanna’s website.

Matthew Warner’s vases will be on display in the Breakfast Room of the Manor.

“Soane loved vases” says Joanna … “his prize possession being the Cawdor Vase. On his travels to Sicily andRome he would have seen a great many Greek and Roman vases.”

Images: Vases by Matthew Warner

Matthew has recently researched traditional forms from Greece, China and Korea sold to wealthy collectors in the 17th and 18th-century.

On either side of the fireplace are two vases by William Plumptre, decorated in a traditional Japanese style with rope inlay, learnt from Tatsuzo Shimaoka.

Images: Vases by William Plumtre

“I very much hope that you take pleasure in the moments we have endeavoured to capture in this exhibition for Sir John Soane, were he alive today” says Joanna.

“Soane owned Pitzhanger for only ten years, but transformed the entrance, house and grounds in that time. He used the rooms and gardens – which were the site of fictitious Roman ruins, a great talking point for his visitors –as examples of what he could do. His distinguished and unique contributions to architecture and design remain an inspiration for us to this day.”

The launch event In Conversation with Joanna Bird, will be on Thursday 16 May at 5pm.

Tickets: In Conversation with Joanna Bird

Images: Pacific Mist, Joseph Harrington; Complex Glass Panel, Steffen Dam

Image: Small vases, Judith Rowe

Images: Omega: Variations on the letter ‘O’; Holding Light, Tom Perkins

Images: The Chameleon’s Dreaming, Watching Clouds with Monsieur Braque, Gregory Warren Wilson, Gregory Warren Wilson

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar