The subversion of traditional porcelain in the work of selected artists (2000-2012)
Kempthorne, Adella Joan
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This dissertation documents and evaluates the subversion of traditional porcelain in the work of the selected artists from 2000-2012. The artists selected for research are Edmund de Waal (1964), Paul Scott (1953), Katharine Morling (1972), Rachel Kneebone (1973) and Clare Twomey (1968). They are British ceramists who work in porcelain in diverse ways, thus providing evidence of a wide range of the subversion of traditional porcelain. An explanation of the research methodology used is provided. The research begins by providing a history of porcelain from the earliest times to the present, documenting the shift of porcelain from the East to the West, as well as the history and properties of porcelain (white china clay). The position of porcelain in the discipline of ceramics is discussed. This includes a thorough investigation and analysis of the physical properties of porcelain and its functional application through history. The meaning of the term subversion, in the context of ceramics, is clarified and evidence of the subversion of traditional porcelain is provided through a discussion of the selected artists’ work. Conclusions are drawn and analysed. My art practice in the form of an exhibition entitled Entwined is discussed in the context of the subversion of traditional porcelain. This includes a discussion of my working method, an explanation of the body of work and an analysis of similarities and differences between my work and that of the selected artists. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of the research findings and provides suggestions for further research.