Painted wall panels in stoneware. Individual pots and garden pieces also in stoneware.
Work generally available from:
Oakwood Gallery, Edwinstowe.
One Two Five Gallery, Bath.
Contemporary Ceramics, London.
Teaching: Gary is currently teaching ceramics privately from his studio at home in Bath. Please telephone 01225 858888 for details of courses, individual tuition and fees. Gary and Carole's website www.onetwofiveartschool.com gives full details of a wide range of courses including 'one to one', Summer School, Pottery Parties, Staff Training and Special Needs.
Tea Bowls: From July 2013 gary is offering his teabowls through The Tea Bowl Company which sells Gary Wood's Tea Bowls online. These are available in sets of two, four and six and delivered free of charge anywhere in the UK.
Gary has been making and selling his tea bowls for thirty years to discerning satisfied customers all over the world. He has developed his own distinctive signature style, both in the design of the form and the rich depth of surface quality, texture and beautiful colour. Check them out at www.theteabowlcompany.co.uk
Clays used are white stoneware (AWSG) from Bath Potters Supplies and T Material for larger pieces. All the work is fired to 1280°c in an electric kiln. Slabs are rolled by hand and various textures added using textured rollers, stamps and tools. I use various slips, glazes and pigments in combination for contrasting colour qualities.
1984/86 - Studied ceramics at Cumbria College of Art and Design, under Jim Malone.
1985 - Work experience with Patrick Sargent, Bunkers Hill, Northampton, summer.
1986/92 - Ceramics studio in Carlisle.
1986/94 - Teaching ceramics part time in Carlisle and Penrith.
1993/94 - Production thrower, Wetheriggs Pottery, Penrith.
1994 - Established ceramics studio in Bath.
1998/99 - Set up One Two Five Gallery with Carole Waller in Bath.
1990 - Elected Fellow of Craft Potters Association
1991 - Northern Arts Craft Award
1991 - Northern Arts Travel Award
1999 - South West Arts Award towards new work for exhibition in New York
"Quiet Forms" by Ian Wilson, Ceramic Review number 175, January / February 1999.
"New Clay Dawning" by Emma Maiden, Venue magazine, July 2000.
"Now and Then" by Simon Olding, Ceramic Review number 210, November / December 2004. See below for copy of article
"Immediacy and Complexity" by Ian Wilson, Keramik Magazin No:27 - April/May 2005
Wood's latest ceramics are informed by architecture as diverse as that
of New York, Morocco and Venice, as Simon Olding discovers.
The current focus for Gary Wood is a series of wall panels, triggered by recent trips to New York, Venice and Morocco. Moroccan vernacular architecture, in particular, has left a powerful trace on his work. Irregularly formed, the near square stoneware panels carry indentations in the surface, often in the form of tiny raised or impressed squares that look 'almost like braille'. These in turn are given bright touches of colour, forming a pattern to cover the base, or canvas, of the panel. The final effect is one of randomly organised points of colour dotted across the surface. As Wood says, they are the outcome of method and hope, since he aims to work 'with 50 planning and 50 chance'.
The surface of these panels is inescapably textural as well as colourful. A number of reference photographs of the interior and exterior of Moroccan houses and hotels support Wood's careful and systematic practice. But the reference might as easily come from a memory of place as well as a specific building. Indeed, the attraction of this particular kind of surface treatment is propelled by his own strong sense of visual enquiry and experiment.
In his most recent series, a ridged slab of clay forms the 'corrugated' panel, and the application of colour is handled in blocks across the whole surface. These panels refer more consciously to the openings in Moroccan houses, and can be seen as abstracted doorways and windows. 'Each piece', as Wood says, 'becomes its own separate thing, not an image of a specific building'. The series of wall panels thus refers both to an actual place and a real investigation for its own sake into colour, texture and bringing a three-dimension- al element to a fundamentally two-dimensional, 'pictorial' form. Some of the frames of these wall panels are akin to the frames of paintings, and these are works intended pure- ly for the pleasure and interest of being seen as abstract compositions.
FUNCTION IN MIND
Usually Wood has attended to the idea of ceramic as a sculptural and painterly medium without losing sight of the functional purpose of his output. His well-known and high- ly-regarded tea bowls, with their allusions to Japanese pro- totypes, work as drinking vessels as well as they do pots with high aesthetic sensibilities. Recent bowls have been made in the same painterly manner as his wall panels, with impressed and raised motifs covering parts of the surface in a similar manner. The marks in the tea bowls are triggered by the idea of the perforations in the Kasbah walls and the New York cityscape. They play with the idea of the window and doorway. This 'cross-referencing' illustrates how impor- tant it is to Wood to interrogate all the possibilities of a particular visual theme.
Wood's home also functions as a studio and gallery. Here he displays his ceramics along with the sumptuous painted clothing of his partner Carole Waller. Pieces on show include three massive bowl-like forms that were made in response to his inquiry into geological forms and processes (such as erosion, or powerful earth movements). The bowls, made by applying very fluid clay into a mould, also enabled Wood to break away from a long period 'being attached to the wheel'. The wrought and roughly finished pieces, massive and bulky in size, seem to bring his long-standing concern with the textural possibilities of clay to a new dimension. The landscape of these bowls is one of 'frozen softness'. The pots seem to have undergone their own process of weather- ing, with the 'dried mud' crazing recalling in one piece the look of a riverbank or river bed after long exposure to a hot sun. In these powerful abstract pieces, Wood explores the sculptural potential of land, river or seascape with a con- vincing gestural command. The works evoke 'a sense of a place seen and described in one precise moment, a trace of something in landscape that has been through ancient geo- logical forces'. They are symbolic pots, 'about a sense of place, rather than any particular place'.
These impressive landscape pieces now belong to the past. Having concluded his thinking about this geological theme Wood has moved on. It is characteristic of his practice that he takes an organised, methodical approach to a chosen subject or theme, and reaches a settlement over a period of time. A series is closed, and the experience of Wood's partic- ular fascination for textural effect will be carried forward to his future explorations. Closure enables a new line of inves- tigation to open up. Looking at the way his tea bowls stack led Wood to consider tall, thin vessels, thrown in two sec- tions, which were marked by a conscious join between two elements. The consequence was a new series of pots. Other ideas were present here: for example, the consideration of the human form, and the way that clothes drape it. There is a very personal motivation behind his explorations in clay, and Wood is conscious that his pots are made for people to see and handle.
As well as having exhibited widely throughout the UK, Wood has also shown successfully internationally (and in 2000 gained a South West Arts award to support the exhibi- tion of new work in New York). His high regard for Japanese ceramics is clearly evident in the production of his series of large tea bowls. He makes these both for individual effect and for their group dynamic. But the production of these particular pieces will also enable him to consider them as maquettes for a bigger form. The tea bowls have, for exam- ple, allowed him to discover an element in surface treatment that can be applied to his wall pieces. The work has a dual purpose: both to settle an idea, and act as a test-bed for future ideas. It is characteristic of Wood's enquiring mind that he can produce work for both the present and the future moment. It brings an enviable, dynamic force to his output, and one can be confident that his development as a practictioner will be both serious in its method, and reach into new directions. Part of his quiet confidence as a ceramic artist comes from this sense of there being all to discover, and all to focus on for the moment.
- Simon Olding
2008 - The Gallery at Bevere, Worcester
2007 - Urchfont Manor Garden Exhibition
2006 - Bettles Gallery, Ringwood
2006 - Quest Gallery, Bath
2006 - Royal United Hospital, Bath
2005 - Alpha House Gallery, Sherbourne
2005 - Campden Gallery, Chipping Campden
2005 - Rufford
2004 - Harlequin Gallery, London.
2004 - Oakwood Gallery, Edwinstowe.
2002 - The Green Scene Gallery, Cropredy;
2002 - Oakwood Gallery, Edwinstowe;
2002 - Beaux Arts, Bath;
2002 - Rope Store Gallery, Stroud;
2002 - Alpha House Gallery, Sherborne; Prema Arts Centre, Dursley.
2001 - The Quenington Sculpture Trust;
2001 - Beaux Arts, Bath;
2001 - Dundee Contemporary Art
2000 - Gayle Wilson Gallery, (New York);
2000 - Six Chapel Row Contemporary Art, (Bath);
2000 - Beaux Arts, (Bath);
2000 - One Two Five Gallery, (Bath);
2000 - Hart Gallery, (Islington, London);
2000 - Alpha House Gallery, (Sherborne, Dorset);
2000 - Beatrice Royal Contemporary Art, (Eastleigh);
2000 - Vena Bunker Gallery, (Bristol);
1999 - Bettles Gallery, (Hampshire);
1999 - Craft Potters Association winter exhibition, (Oxford);
1999 - Art in Clay, (Hatfield House, Hertfordshire);
1999 - The Quenington Sculpture Trust, (Cirencester);
1999 - Artmonsky Arts, (London);
1999 - Juliet Gould Gallery, (Cornwall);
1999 - One Two Five Gallery, (Bath);
1999 - Dundee Contemporary Arts. The Scottish Gallery, (Edinburgh) (Solo Show);
1998 - The Red Gallery, (Marlow);
1998 - The Podium, (Bath Festival) (Solo Show);
1998 - Laburnum Ceramics, (Penrith);
1997 - Alpha House Gallery, (Sherborne, Dorset);
1997 - Six Chapel Row Contemporary Art, (Bath);
1997 - Rufford Craft Centre, (Newark);
1997 - "In The Window", (Contemporary Ceramics, London) (Solo Show);
1997 - `Kaleidoscope', (Contemporary Ceramics, London);
1997 - Vena Bunker Gallery, (Bristol);
1997 - Bath Fringe Art Fair);
1997 - South Hill Park Arts Centre, (Bracknell) (Solo Show);
1997 - Country Works Gallery, (Montgomery Powys);
1996/7 - The Black Swan Guild, (Frome) (Solo Show);
1996 - Rye Art Gallery, (Sussex);
1996 - T. Garner Gallery, (Glasgow);
1996 - Anderson Gallery, (Worcestershire);
1996 - Art Conoissuer Gallery, (London);
1996 - Galerie Handwerk, (Koblenz, Germany);
1996 - Bath Fringe Art Fair. Bough and Lime, (Bath);
1995 - Window Arts Centre, (Bath);
1995 - "Homeworks", (Royal Festival Hall, London);
1993 - "Shaping The Earth", (Touring Exhibition);
1993 - Northern Potters Annual Exhibition) (Tullie House,Carlisle);
1992 - "Clay in Cumbria", (Brantwood, Coniston);
1991 - Masterworks Gallery, (Auckland, New Zeatand);
1991 - Craft Potters Association, (London);
1991 - David Holmes Gallery, (Halifax) (Solo Show);
1990 - Bettles Gallery, (Hampshire); Northern Fells Guild, (Lazonby);
1989 - Tithe Bam Gallery, (Bakewell, Derbyshire);
1988 - Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. (Solo Show);
1987 - Northem Potters Annual Exhibition, (Tullie House,Carlisle);
1986 - Scottish Gallery, (Edinburgh) (Solo Show);
1986 - Central School of Art and Design, (London);
Pots in numerous collections in the UK and abroad, including York City Museum - William Ismay Collection.