Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2001: Ceramics

02 Mar 2004

Richard Slee wins The Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2001: Ceramics 

The Jerwood Charitable Foundation and the Crafts Council award the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2001 for Ceramics.

A 15,000 prize was awarded to Richard Slee.

The Jerwood Charitable Foundation, a UK registered charity supported by the Jerwood Foundation, established the Applied Arts Prize in 1995 in association with the Crafts Council. The Foundation is dedicated to imaginative and responsible funding of the arts, education, design, conservation, and other areas of human endeavour and excellence. The purpose of the Prize is to celebrate excellence and originality in contemporary applied art by individuals in the United Kingdom and to encourage its appreciation, understanding and collection. This is the second Jerwood Applied Arts Prize for Ceramics. The first was won by Philip Eglin in 1996.

The Panel of Judges
This year's judges for the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize were: Emmanuel Cooper (Chair) , potter, editor of Ceramic Review, critic, writer and member of the Arts Council of England; Martina Margetts, Research Fellow in Applied Arts, Royal College of Art, writer and curator; Susan Daniel-McElroy, curator, Tate St. Ives; Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl, MA Royal College of Art, ceramist and curator, Gimmerhus Museum, Denmark.

Richard Slee wins The Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2001: Ceramics and was presented with a i5,000 cheque at the Crafts Council as the winner of the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2001.

Now in its seventh year, the prize is the only major award for the applied arts in the UK and is funded by The Jerwood Charitable Foundation. The award is presented to the individual who, in the opinion of the judging panel; has made the most significant contribution to contemporary ceramics, demonstrating commitment, excellence and innovation in work made over the past five years.

The panel of judges commented: "Ten exceptional finalists challenged the judges to make fine distinctions between very diverse types of ceramic practice.
"In the last five years, Richard Slee has expanded the dialogue between ceramic tradition and visual culture in ways that resonate outwards. The judges awarded the prize for originality of concept and sophistication of making, clarity and quality of vision. The ideas are ambitious, fusing popular culture and high art with questions of identity and consumption."

Alan Grieve, Chairman of the Jerwood Charitable Foundation commented: "The ]erwood Applied Arts Prize has established itself as the major UK award in its field. The judges were rightly faced with a testing task to discern quality and sophistication in execution: All ten shortlisted artists should be regarded as winners in their own right. The whole exhibition speaks for excellence and high achievement.'

Richard Slee is one of the most interesting and significat ceramicists in the UK. His work fuses a response to the ceramic traditions of function and ornament with a wry commentary on fine art history from a 2lst century perspective. From l8th century Staffordshire ornaments to Surrealism, his work feeds upon an eclectic range of influences, and in the most recent work incorporates found objects. His work is held in British and international public collections including the Crafts Council Collection and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition of the Jerwood Applied Arts prize will tour nationally in 2002.

The touring schedule for this exhibition is:
2 March - 28 April 2002, Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Bideford North Devon;
4 May - 30 June 2002 Norwich Castle Museum;
7 September - 3 November 2002 Pottery's Museum and Art Gallery Stoke-on-Trent.

Background on the Winner of the Jerwood Award

Richard Slee (b 1946) is Professor of Ceramics at Camberwell College of Arts and is based in Brighton. Slee has used l8th, l9th and 20th century industrial decorative ceramic precedents as a source of inspiration, working with found objects and ceramic print Slee has extended the meaning of the essentially ceramic object. Commissioning opportunities have allowed him to diversify from the functional to the sculptural. His work is held in several prestigious public collections

Background on the other shortlisted makers:

Felicity Aylieff (b 1954) is based in Bath, lecturing at Bath Spa University and Wolverhampton School of Art & Design. Aylieff has been experimenting with materials, using glass and porcelain to give optical depth and additional strength to clay structures. This has enabled her to generate larger scale work and she is now recognised as a leading figure and authority in the field of clay technology, with work in both the V&A and Westerwald Keramikmuseum collections.
Alison Britton OBE (b 1948) lives in London. Trained at Central School of Art and the Royal College of Art, where she now teaches, Britton's significant contribution to contemporary ceramics is reflected in her OBE status. She was one of a small number of British women studio potters to emerge in the early 1970s whose work was distinct from the prevalent styles of the time. She continues to experiment with form and function through making, writing, teaching and curating.
Lubna Chowdhary (b 1964) is London-based, lecturing at Tower Hamlets College and the London College of Fashion. Chowdhary's aim is to blur the boundaries between craft and fine art in order to stimulate and engage the imagination of the viewer. She has created a body of conceptual ceramics including 'Metropolis', a work which is made up of 600 x 8cm high pieces and a series of tiles for domestic use. Large scale commissions include the 6m frieze for Terence Conran's 'Alcazon' Restaurant in Paris.
Edmund de Waal (b 1964) has made a point of getting pots off plinths, enlivening and interrogating different architectural spaces. He has pioneered a more gestural use of his medium and has been innovative in the use of porcelain at scale. His influences are primarily the Orient and his work is held in prestigious collections round the world. He lives and works in London.
James Evans (b 1964) was profiled in the Crafts Council's '3 Up' series of exhibitions (Ripe, 2000) which pinpointed emerging British talent. 'I follow tradition ... staying true to the medium, but I take my work into areas that ceramics doesn't usually recognise', he says. His use of luxuriant lustre is at once uplifting and sensuous.
Elizabeth Fritsch (b 1940) is based in London. A distinguished career in ceramics has made her work highly sought after and she is represented in museum collections worldwide. Her stated aim is to extend the imaginative scope of the clay vessel, as well as upholding the timeless qualities of the medium. Colour is integral to surface and form and Fritsch cites her influences as ranging from music to particle physics and precision engineering.
Walter Keeler (b 1942) Based in Monmouthshire, Keeler is Professor of Ceramics at Bristol University. His distinctive range of functional saltglazed pots influenced a younger generation of makers. Recently he has turned to eighteenth century Staffordshire Creamware for inspiration, responding to the idiosyncratic forms and characteristic glazes of the period. His aim is to make contemporary pots which reflect their historical roots. Keeler's work is held in significant collections worldwide.
Carol McNicoll (b 1943) Lecturing at Camberwell College of Arts and living in London, McNicoll has been making ceramics for the domestic environment for 27 years. Her work is expressive, takes risks and is frequently elaborate in its construction, often encompassing found vessels within composite forms. She has exhibited widely in Britain and Europe and has work in collections Internationally.
Nicholas Rena (b 1963) is based in London. Having studied architecture Rena completed an MA in ceramics and glass at the Royal College of Art. His aim is to create objects which are at once familiar and unfamiliar, old and new. He does this by applying new techniques to traditional materials, soaking ink into the clay and emphasising the sculptural form of a vessel to give it greater presence.

For more information:

Further details from:

The Jerwood Applied Arts Prize, Crafts Council, 44a Pentonville Road, Islington, London, N1 9BY

Contact - Jo or Theresa at Joanna Scott
Tel 020 7255 2272
Fax 020 7255 2292


Work by the Winner and Short Listed Ceramicists. From the top, left to right by row:

Richard Slee

Alison Britton OBE

Lubna Chowdhary

Edmund de Waal

James Evans

Elizabeth Fritsch

Walter Keeler

Carol McNicoll

Nicholas Rena

Felicity Aylieff