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What’s on Show: Somerset

Solo Show for Ikuko Iwamoto at Sidoct Arts Centre on now unitl Saturday 20th February 2016

My son and I recently visited Sidcot Arts Centre in Somerset to see the work of Cavaliero Finn’s London based, Japanese ceramic artist, Ikuko Iwamoto.

Ikuko’s intricate, porcelain vessels and sculptures are exceptional, there’s no doubt about it, they are truly unique and the awards that she has accumulated since she completed her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2008, merely rubber stamp the talent Juliana and I recognised when we first spotted her work at Ceramic Art London almost ten years ago.

Ikuko studies and adapts the microscopic structures and patterns found in cells, genes and organic forms like sea urchins and sea anemones to create painstakingly detailed porcelain tableware and 3D wall works.

Bristling with spikes and bumps, Ikuko’s organic shapes undulate and curve, both repelling and attracting the viewer, never failing to leave them with a sense of marvel at the intricacy of each design.

To make each piece Ikuko hand builds plaster moulds and uses a slip-casting technique to form the body of her vessels, then she begins her signature design applying each and every spike or bump meticulously by hand. It is a labour of love and one carried out masterfully.

Ikuko’s work has achieved much critical acclaim, including The Ceramic Review Prize for Innovation at Ceramic Art London in 2009. Indeed as we were walking round the Sidcot Art Gallery a film crew was busily filming Ikuko talking about her work for a programme to be aired in Japan later this year.

The light and airy, upper gallery of the Sidcot Arts Centre is the ideal backdrop for Ikuko’s porcelain work and offers a great overview of the artist’s work to date. Around 30 framed sculptures and 40 pieces of Ikuko’s work are on show, so if you are in the South West, I’d definitely recommend a visit.

Also on show in the lower gallery space at Sidcot are textile works by Jenni Dutton and Ingrid Hesling which are also worth a look. Jenni’s portraits of her late mother who suffered from Dementia, particularly struck me. So expertly and tenderly crafted, using strands of wool woven into white netting, the series of large-scale portraits,  ‘The Dementia Darnings’, were initiated four years ago when she became a full-time carer for her mother. Producing likenesses of family faces helped Jenni to connect with her mother, even as her memory was slowly disconnecting. The works are a touching testament to the love a daughter has for her mother. I was completely blown away by them.

Both exhibitions are on until Saturday February 20th 2016 at the Sidcot Art Centre Galleries. For more info including opening times see http://www.sidcot.org.uk/arts/whats-on/sidcot-galleries/sidcot-galleries#.VriMtlIyDUk

Cavaliero Finn will be showing a range of Ikuko Iwamoto’s ceramic sculptures and tableware at our forthcoming Dulwich Festival show in May.  To see Ikuko’s current range of work for sale online click here