NEWS: Confected, Borrowed and Blue @ Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Blue patterned china sets might be stored away in the back of your parents’ cupboards, or maybe wrapped in newspaper in your loft, but they were once a familiar feature on dining tables up and down the country. Renowned artist Paul Scott has brought his sets down for a special occasion, though you’ll soon realise that his pieces are not quite as they first appear. From Saturday 14th February til Sunday 12th April, the stunning Bowes Museum plays host to his latest exhibition, Confected, Borrowed and Blue.

Some pieces are starkly sparse. Gone are the traditional patterns of busy leaves, birds and tree branches we might expect. One dish, entitled Cumbrian Blue(s) No:3 Fracked, is one half a deep blue horizon, while an ornately detailed industrial tower stands bleakly against a bright china white sky. Other works use the china itself in interesting ways, making use of cracks, joins and some works appear as scenes from a pop-up book; the fragility of the medium is surely an inspiration too.

In the era of Spode and other British ceramic designers, time-honoured romantic scenes of the British landscape were a go-to inspiration. Scott’s clever use of the same material asks us to second guess the bucolic landscapes we like to decorate our objects with, reminding us of our natural environment and the marks we will inevitably leave upon it.

Confected, Borrowed and Blue is at the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle from Saturday 14th February until Sunday 12th April.

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