Blown-away Vase, Over the Edge, Firework XII
Media: stoneware, slip
Size: h(cm) : 40.7 x w(cm) : 22.5 x d(cm) : 10,h(cm) : 4
Acquired: 2009; Purchase; with the assistance of the Art Fund and Derek Williams Trust
Accession Number: NMW A 39102
A fresco-like surface texture and depth of rich colour give Elizabeth Fritsch’s hand-built vessels an immediate tactile and visual appeal. They are, however, objects of immense complexity, informed by a formidable range of intellectual interests, from musical theory and mathematics to literature, mythology and geology. Fritsch also explores the paradoxes that arise when the illusory space created by painting on a surface interacts with the real space occupied by a three-dimensional object. Firework XII’s blue-black ground symbolises the night sky. Scattered particles with white flashes appear to float free in space within or even beyond the vessel, an illusion that dematerialises its surface and challenges our perception of reality. Fritsch is the pre-eminent ceramic artist of Welsh origin and, having helped fundamentally to redefine the parameters of the craft ceramics movement in the early 1970s, perhaps the most important potter of her generation.