County Hall Pottery is delighted to present Metamorphic - a compelling new exhibition exploring the transformative potential of stone in the realm of contemporary ceramics. The exhibit's title draws a parallel to the natural process behind the formation of metamorphic rocks, highlighting the ingenious techniques employed by our five artists to manipulate both geological and industrial materials. 

The collection provokes consideration of the lifecycle of materials such as stone, brick, and quartz, providing new perspectives on both built and natural environments. Each artist's work delves into how the transformation of materials and the labour involved can influence a piece's social significance. Through their art, they address pressing issues such as climate change, social inequality, and the intricate relationship between geology and ceramics. 

The show has been curated not only to explore the interplay of stone and clay, but also encourages reflection on the broader implications of material transformation and the artistic process. The result is a collection of extraordinary objects that invite contemplation of metamorphic transformations.

Special Events

Private View - Monday 8 July
Mingle with fellow art enthusiasts, enjoy refreshments, and get a first look at these stunning works.
Time: 6.30pm-9pm
Cost: Free to attend

Private Dinner with the Artists - Thursday 11 July
Join us for an exclusive private dining experience at County Hall Pottery. Meet the artists and hear about their work. With food from the legendary chef, Daisuke Shimoyama, and hosted in our stunning courtyard.
Time: 7pm-10pm
Cost: £40 per person

Artists

Matthew Blakely re-establishes the connection between pottery and place, creating vessels entirely from clays and rocks he has collected across the country. His work here features glazes blended from local minerals, representing the geology of specific locations. His meticulous process, involving the crushing, grinding, and sieving of rocks, ensures that every texture and colour is derived from natural materials.

Alison Cooke utilises clay sourced from historically and geologically significant sites, uncovered through mining, engineering, and scientific research. Her exhibit features a rock core from 4km beneath the North Sea, drilled by the oil industry. This core shares the same minerals and metamorphic processes as ceramics. Alongside, she displays sea defences made from glacial clay, highlighting the environmental impact of fossil fuel extraction. Together, these pieces illustrate the profound effects of mass mining on our planet.

Tim Copsey presents a collection of tokkuri and guinomi, with surfaces meticulously built up over multiple firings, often starting in a wood kiln and culminating with lustres. Informed by Japanese styles and techniques and using materials found in the Peak District these pieces are both of and inspired by this landscape. Also featured are works incorporating bricks which embody the resonant memories of his childhood home surrounded by claypits and brickworks.

Caz Hildebrand’s practice is concerned with temporality and the intersection between archaeology, architecture and art. She showcases the second reincarnation of her installation, Sea Change, formed from pieces she has made combined with debris collected at Crosby Beach. This includes remnants from The Blitz, which have been gradually sculpted and reclaimed by the sea. Bricks and mortar are reborn, their uncanny shapes evoking Liverpool’s past and their new role in the beachscape of Merseyside. This display challenges the notion of value, and which stories are deserving of our attention.

Dean Mueller transforms building materials and ceramics into thought-provoking art. Using repurposed elements to construct moulds, abstracted forms are derived through the combination of aggregates and handmade clay bodies. Mueller elevates common materials, challenging traditional notions of status and value. His collection explores the intersection of everyday objects and artistic innovation, inviting viewers to reconsider the mundane.