Lucie Rie

Lucie Rie is a contemporary artist who made most of her thriving work around the 1960s and 1970s. This was a time where she was sharing a studio with Hans Coper. Rie and Coper’s work has often been associated with each other even though their most famous and well-known work is so different.

I find Rie’s work very interesting. I am especially intrigued by the texture she creates using the sgraffito technique in the clay and with the clay slip as well as the types and colours on gaze slip she uses. Her style and technique gives the work a rustic almost vintage look to the work. Sgraffito will create this effect as well as the way Rie uses the gaze.

Born in 1902, Rie grew up in a very privileged family in Austria. However, her easy life was affected by trauma and un happiness with the rise of Nazism throughout Germany and Austria. As a trained potter Rie fled to England where the affect of Nazism was not so direct. Most of her most famous work was made during her time where she was sharing a studio with Hans Coper.


Perry Grayson

Grayson Perry is one of the most well-known ceramists in contemporary art and is a very inspiring creator especially for a Fine artist. Perry uses a lot of bright colour and texture in his work to create conceptual vases. The vases hold subjects which are at odds with the attractive appearance.  Perry uses imagery and text to document and communicate to the audience to societal concerns he responds too. He uses traditional methods in the pottery but when it comes to the decor, Perry uses more contemporary methods of embossing, photographic transfers to create animated surfaces.

Rachael Whiteread

Rachael Whiteread is a contemporary English artist who’s artwork is mostly made from cast and plaster. I have come across Whiteread’s work in past projects during my foundation degree and A Levels. The materials I am working with are similar to those used in Whiteread’s work. I am fascinated by her work because she looks into past events and creates memorials or awareness pieces in relation to the event. For example, The Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial in Vienna resembles a library from the world within the pages of the books. The pages of the books are turned outwards.


Most of her work is of a very large scale and is displayed in public places for the public to view freely. The work acts as a memorial or reminder for the event she is attempting to respond to. Places she has displayed her work includes Trafalgar Square and the memorial grounds of the square in Vienna.

Ai Wei Wei

“Creativity is the power to reject the past, to change the status quo, and to seek new potential. Simply put, aside from using one’s imagination – perhaps more importantly – creativity is the power to act” – Ai Wei Wei.

The contemporary artist is best known for his activist work. His work has a common theme of responding to an event e.g. an earthquake, human rights violations. For example, Ai Wei Wei invited the public to create a flower in memory of the child victims of the devastating Sichuan earthquake, 2008.  Much of Wei Wei’s work is to raise awareness or to raise a response or a political; stunt against governments and societal systems. I find Wei Wei’s work incredibly interesting and inspiring because it is very conceptual and yet accessible for all levels of artistic knowledge. Ai Wei Wei as an artist is very influential because he isn’t afraid to express his feelings on a matter and is willing to accept the consequences of his actions.

Ai Wei Wei is a fan of ceramics however he does use it quite a lot in his practice. In his work you can see the relationship between it and the quote by General Mao, “the only way to build a new world is by destroying the old one”. I am fascinating by the way Wei Wei allows the coloured slip and coloured gazes to drip down the pots creating an almost melting effect. I want to use a similar style in my own work and will attempt to do so throughout the next four weeks.


The Oceania exhibition talked about the intriguing work created by natives to the Polynesian, Melanesian and Micronesian Islands. The work ranged from before they were colonised to a time in which they were. The art was not just for pleasure and display for used in daily life including canoes, paddles and shields and for ceremonies and rituals. Much of the work is believed to hold spiritual power which gives it a whole new meaning to the people.

After the arrival of LT (later Captain) James Cook and colonisation by The Europeans, the art changed as the natives began to adapt to new technologies and ideologies brought over. Drawings and paintings one paper became more dominant in the cultural. Not only this, the ideas in the art changed, the colonisation meant the lands and people were exploited, new diseases were brought over, life was hard.

As you walk through the exhibition, you can see the changes through time. The new technologies, the new ideas, the new feelings felt by these people. It was a interesting visit with some beautiful artwork which gave you an insight into the cultural of the Asian community through time.

Danny Quirk

Danny Quirk is a newly graduated contemporary artist I came across who’s work I found so inspiring and interesting to look at. Quirk uses latex, acrylic and sharp directly onto the skin to create his art. He conveys the inside of the body on the skin which gives the illusion the person has lost their skin and the inside is exposed. I decided to contact him and he stated that the reason he draws directly onto the skin is because “it brings the textbooks to life and makes anatomy more interactive”.

As well as drawing directly onto the skin, Quirk creates water colour and oil portrait paintings which portray the individual pulling their skin away to reveal the inside of the human body. The individual is almost dissecting their own body to show their insides making each portrait quite personal for the model. Quirk talks about how his work can often be perceived as being “on the darker side” however, he states about it is “about exploration”.

I found his work inspiring for the pathway of my work because he also looks at the inside of the body to help develop his understanding of the human body. It was really helpful to contact the artist himself and ask him few questions about this work and there reasons behind it.


Is a revealing photo pornographic? Does this affect my work?

Todays discussion looked at Cosey Fanny Totti’s photograph from Men Only magazine. Fanny Totti then displayed the work in an art gallery. Does this change the meaning of it?The environment in which the image is located in will influence the meaning and how it is perceived by the audience. If the images are found in a pornographic magazine they will be perceived as objectification because they are used for pleasure. For today’s society this is the norm. I don’t think the fact that women (AND MEN) being objectified in pornographic magazine is necessarily a bad thing. I believe this because the magazine is used for pleasure and in today’s society this is what the audience wants. Of course women should not just be objects in society and used for men’s dominant pleasure but these women in the magazine give consent to be used. Why would they take part in the multi-million sex industry if they didn’t enjoy it…even just a little bit?

There are some students on my course who believe the sex industry is wrong. They are extremely bias in the sense they believe, and I quote, “men are objectifying women and its disgusting, women don’t do it its only men” I agree that everyone is entitled to an opinion but I believe a fair argument should be enforced. Men are not the only ones to blame for this norm of objectification, women also do it to men! It is very stereotypical to say that women are the one objectified which is true but men are not the only ones to blame for this. The saying “she was asking for it” is so wrong. Women just be allowed to wear what she wants but she should understand that comments may be made. It works both ways, if a girl sees a man in something she likes, she’s likely to say something or give him a look. I don’t think this is wrong. Its society’s way of thinking and our cultural, men are not the problem, that have caused these norms. Many things need to change, not just men. The equality of men and women needs to be probably enforced in jobs and lifestyle and stereotypes.

This lecture does not directly feed into my development of practice because they are very different topics however, I did make me start to this about how the contact of a piece of work can affect the response of the work. I feel art can be anywhere for it to be art however, with todays society there may be a few concepts that some people feel should be in galleries for it to be considered art. In this case, nudity and sexual gestures should be otherwise it COULD be seen as pornography in some eyes and to some, extremist feminism.