York Art Gallery

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DATE: 2 August 2021

A new display curated by collector Anthony Shaw has opened at the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA), within York Art Gallery. Titled ‘Themes’, the show features an exciting display from Shaw’s collection, with the aim of encouraging visitors to view and experience ceramics and art through a new perspective.

As suggested through the title ‘Themes’, approximately 250 works have been loosely divided into six categories. However, with many possessing a vast range of characteristics, visitors will see works featuring within multiple groups.

Anthony said, “I wanted to try and make a display that’s different to those done in the past, that lets people see ceramics in a range of different ways. The exhibition is all about asking questions and is very open ended.
“Despite the exhibition title, the collection was not chosen by theme, but when putting the objects together certain elements stood out, and for that reason I called them themes.
“This display is about more than just looking, it’s about engaging, feeling and encouraging people to open up to the emotions evoked through the work. Today handheld digital screens are so important that we are accustomed to visually engaging with images, but we are not always physically seeing an object and feeling those emotions, which is what this exhibition is all about.
“It’s been a wonderful experience curating this new display for CoCA and I look forward to visitors being able to connect and engage with the ceramics on this new level.”

From themes such as ‘Thrown Forms’ representing the conception and beginning of Shaw’s collection, to ‘Black’ which highlights a theme of strong forms and statements, the display showcases a variety of work, and includes recent acquisitions from artists Gordon Baldwin, Kerry Jameson and Bryan Illsley.

Anthony Shaw has been collecting art for over 40 years and his collection is on long term loan to York Museums Trust. Shaw is particularly drawn to work that explores the sculptural and painterly qualities of clay, which can be seen through the work currently on display.

‘Themes’ has now opened at York Art Gallery. Visitors will be required to pre-book tickets at www.yorkartgallery.org.uk, but the display will be free to visit alongside the gallery’s permanent collection.

For more information please go to www.yorkartgallery.org.uk