YORK artist and writer Harland Miller’s largest ever solo exhibition
will be held in his home city next year.
Harland Miller: York, So Good They Named It Once will run at York Art
Gallery from February 14 to May 31 2020.
Supported by fellow North Yorkshireman Jay Jopling’s White Cube
galleries in London, the show features Miller’s best-known series, the Penguin Book Covers
and the Pelican Bad Weather Paintings.
These works directly refer to the 55-year-old artist’s relationship with
York, the city where he was born and grew up before moving to London, as well
as making wider references to the culture and geography of Yorkshire as a
The titles are all sardonic statements on life: York, So Good They Named It; Once Whitby – The Self Catering Years; Rags to Polyester – My Story and Incurable Romantic Seeks Dirty Filthy Whore.
addition to these dust-jacket paintings, Miller will show works from his recent
Letter Painting series: canvasses made up of overlaid letters to form short
words or acronyms in a format inspired by the illuminated letters of medieval
Miller left Yorkshire to study at Chelsea School of Art, graduating in
1988 with an MA, since when he has lived in London, New York, Berlin and New
He has held solo exhibitions at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art,
Gateshead, in 2009 and Palacio Quintanar, Segovia, Spain, in 2015. Group
exhibitions include the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, in 1996; Kunsthalle
Mannheim, Germany, 2004; Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005,
2006 and 2007; Sculpture in the Close, Jesus College, Cambridge, 2013, and Somerset
House, London, 2016.
In 2008, Miller curated the group show You Dig The Tunnel, I’ll Hide The
Soil, an homage to Edgar Allan Poe to mark the bicentenary of his birth, at
White Cube and Shoreditch Town Hall, London.
His first novel, Slow Down Arthur, Stick To Thirty, the story of a child who travels around northern England with
a David Bowie impersonator, was published
by Fourth Estate in 2000.
That same year, Book Works published his novella,
At First I Was Afraid, a study of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,
based on the true story of a female relative, whose box of Polaroid images, all
of oven knobs turned to “Off”, was discovered by Miller.
In his artwork, he continues to create work in the vein of his Penguin covers, wherein he married aspects of Pop Art, abstraction and figurative painting with his writer’s love of text. He now includes his own phrases, some humorous and absurd, others marked by a lush melancholia.
THE Centre of Ceramic Art’s annual Day of Clay is expanding into two
Days of Clay this weekend at York Art Gallery.
The event involves hands-on activities, talks and workshops by experts
and the launch of Gillian Lowndes’ exhibition, At The Edge.
CoCA’s Days of Clay offers the chance to watch, make and hear about the
art of clay from leading figures from the world of ceramics, including working
with animal sculptor Susan Hall and participating in performances from Milena
Dragic and Mila Romans, while David Horbury will discuss Emmanuel Cooper’s
This evening’s CoCA lecture will be given by potter Alison Britton OBE
on the subject of being part of the emergence of a radical abstract
expressionist style of ceramic work.
The Days of Clay coincide with the opening of a display of works by
Gillian Lowndes, the most radical ceramicist of the 20thcentury.
Fiona Green, assistant curator at York Art Gallery, says: “This year we
have extended our popular day event to a whole weekend, with fantastic
opportunities to celebrate, discuss and work with clay.
“We have some incredible experts involved, who are looking forward to
discussing their work and sharing experiences and techniques with visitors, and
there are plenty of opportunities to get hands-on and have a go yourself.
“Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to join other experts,
enthusiasts and novices who all share an appreciation of clay.”
All activities are included in admission to York Art Gallery with the
exception of the CoCA Lecture. Visit yorkartgallery.org.uk for more
details and tickets.
Days of Clay is being held in conjunction with York Ceramics Fair 2019,
running concurrently at the Hospitium, York Museum Gardens, with support from
the Craft Potters Association.
Tickets to York Ceramics Fair are on sale at yorkceramicsfair.com; tickets
to York Art Gallery can be bought at a reduced rate if you hold a York Ceramics
Days of Clay full programme
Saturday, November 23
10.30am to 4.30pm: Artist Susan Halls in the Studio.
Come and help fill part of the gallery with a crowd of watchful clay
rabbits. Animal sculptor Susan Halls will be running a hands-on workshop
showing you a quick and effective way to make a hollow rabbit that will form
part of her Meadow installation.
Annual CoCA Lecture 2019: Alison Britton OBE,
lecture at 6pm; Q&A, 6.45pm; drinks in Gillian Lowndes exhibition, 7pm;
Alison Britton was part of a group of radical women artists graduating
from the Royal College of Art’s ceramics course in the early 1970s.
In 1993, Britton co-curated The Raw And The Cooked with Martina Margetts,
at the Barbican and Modern Art Oxford, which then toured in East Asia and
In her lecture, Britton will reflect on this exhibition and on being
part of an emergence of a radical abstract expressionist style of ceramic work.
Sunday, November 24
In the CoCA 1 gallery:
1pm to 3pm, Clay Participatory Performance.
Joinperformers Milena Dragic and Mila Romans as “artist” and “clay”
as they sculpt out clay movements and then invite you to participate in making,
looking and moving clay to become part of the performance.
3.30pm to 4.30pm, Talk: Making Emmanuel Cooper.
David Horbury discusses how editing Emmanuel Cooper’s memoirs has provided
fresh insights into his pots and practice. David’s book on Emmanuel will be on
sale in the shop and he will be available to sign them.
In the Studio:
11.30am to 12.30pm, The Life Of A Slipware Potter.
Join potter Doug Fitch and his wife Hannah for a talk about their lives
as slipware potters, followed by a hands-on session where you can try out slip
2pm to 3.30pm,Texture and carving workshop.
Learn about hand building with artist Wendy Lawrence. Take the
opportunity to get hands on yourself and create a piece of carved, textured
clay to take home with you.
In the CoCA 2 gallery:
11.30am to 12.30pm, Children Curate in conversation
with Anthony Shaw and artist Susan Halls.
Meet the collector and the artist who helped inspire the children who
curated the current Anthony Shaw Collection display.
2.30pm to 3.30pm,Alison Britton in conversation with
Alison Britton will be talking with Anthony Shaw about the practice and
work of Gillian Lowndes in CoCA’s new exhibition, Gillian Lowndes: At the Edge.
2pm to 3pm, Book Reading: The Ups And Downs In The Life Of The Fabulous
Join Jane Hamlyn for a reading of a quaint little book
about the 16th century French Huguenot potter Bernard Palissy and his
desperate struggles to discover the lost secrets of Italian tin-glazed
3pm to 4pm, Film Showing.
Watch a screening of Potshots, starring Johnny Vegas as Bernard Palissy.
Produced by Roger Law and Anya Course. Running time: 25minutes. Jane will be
available to answer any questions.
Both Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24
Installation: Recycling the Tower of Pots.
The tower of pots was created by artist Lou Gilbert Scott and visitors
during the 2018 Day of Clay event. Now you are invited to watch as it slowly
dissolves, returning to soft malleable clay ready for re-use.
Hands on Here.
Get hands on with York Art Gallery’s historic and contemporary ceramic
collection; sessions usually run between 11am and 1pm and 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
Children’s ceramic trail available at front desk all day.
Gillian Lowndes: At the Edge
November 23 to May 2020
See the ground-breaking works of Gillian Lowndes (1936-2010), the most
radical ceramicist of the 20th century, in this major new exhibition.
From the 1970s onwards, artist Gillian Lowndes was at the forefront of a
new style of contemporary ceramics which explored the materiality of clay.
Her abstract expressionist way of working brought together a range of
materials and found objects that she recycled to create new sculptural work she
called collages. This exhibition showcases more than 40 artworks drawn from
CoCA’s collection, alongside loans from Anthony Shaw’s collection, many on
public display for the first time.
Accompanying the exhibition will be further displays featuring new
acquisitions by artists including Kate Malone, Emmanuel Cooper and David
YORK Ceramics Fair is returning for a second year as a “top of the pots” gathering of British ceramicists in The Hospitium on November 23 and 24.
Running alongside will be the newly expanded Days Of Clay, a ceramics discovery programme run by the Centre of Ceramic Art (CoCA) at nearby York Art Gallery
Forty potters from Britain and beyond have been chosen through competitive selection by the fair’s organisers, the Craft Potters Association, to showcase their hand-crafted pieces.
On display and for sale in the medieval Hospitium, in the Museum Gardens, will be hundreds of pots of all shapes and sizes work ranging from vibrant to serene, minimal to magical, sculptural to utilitarian.
Among those taking part are Jenny Southam, whoseeccentric figures explore her love of gardening, as well as her interest in both Staffordshire mantelpiece figures and Etruscan tomb sculptures.
Dylan Bowen’s bold expressionistic ceramics capture the spontaneity and energy of how they are made. His work is sought by leading interior designers and his collaborations include the interior lighting specialist Porta Romana for their Bohème collection.
Lara Scobie’s ceramics balance composition and form with pattern and bright pops of colour; Shipton-by-Beningbrough ceramicist Ruth King, one of the event organisers, specialises in the salt glaze technique and a preoccupation with structure, containment and balance in her luminous pots. RAMP Ceramics is a partnership between Alice Hartford and Rupert Johnstone, wherein he throws the pots and she decorates them and they share a liking for simple, clean forms.
Anna Lambert, from Crosshills, near Keighley, makes hand-built arthenware ceramics using such techniques as slab-building and painted slips. Her creative ideas reflect an interest in place, exploring narratives relating to farmland, floodwater management, woodlands and the regeneration of orchards. Inspired by new nature writing, she combines drawing with abstract qualities of pots, their spaces, edges and surfaces.
Over the same weekend, York Art Gallery’s annual Days Of Clay offers the chance to “get your hands dirty” at live demonstrations by makers on the Saturday and to enjoy a series of talks, conversations and demos on the Sunday, showing how raw clay can be pinched, carved, rolled, thrown and transformed through this ancient craft.
Animal sculptor Susan Hall and potters Milena Dragic and Mila Romans are taking part; esteemed ceramicist Alison Britten gives the annual CoCA lecture; David Horbury discusses the memoirs of studio potter and arts and crafts writer Emmanuel Cooper, and the event coincides with the launch of a new exhibition by “the most radical ceramicist of the 20th century”, Gillian Lowndes: At The Edge.
York Ceramics Fair, The Hospitium, Museum Gardens, York, November 23 and 24, 10am to 5pm; entry £5, under 16s, free. For more details, visit yorkceramicsfair.com.
The 40 potters taking part in York Ceramics Fair 2019 are:
Justine Allison; Matthew Blakely;Dylan Bowen; Daniel Boyle; Katie Braida; Ben Brierley; Karen Bunting; Rebecca Callis; Isabel Denyer; Antje Ernestus; Doug Fitch; Hannah McAndrew; David Frith; Kerstin Gren; James Hake; Richard Heeley; RAMP Ceramics; Ruth King; Anna Lambert; Tony Laverick; Wendy Lawrence; Sophie MacCarthy; Sean Miller; Jenny Morten; Stephen Murfitt; Jeremy Nichols; Adela Powell; Michaela Schoop; Lara Scobie; Jill Shaddock; Patricia Shone; Jenny Southam; Ilona Sulikova; Tricia Thom; Keith Varney; John Wheeldon; Emily-Kriste Wilcox; Deiniol Williams; David Wright; Paul Young.