NEWS: Katharine Morling @ Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Porcelain doesn’t really have a great name for itself. It’s frequently used as the material to make ugly, poorly painted dolls, the type that you’d find in a 1970s throwback house, and it’s a bit too fragile to use as tableware like china. All you video game nerds out there will also remember that Monkey Island protagonist Guybrush Threepwood famously had a phobia of porcelain, citing its unnatural smoothness as a reason for his dislike of the material. Is this justified? In the right hands, porcelain could easily be a wonderful material for crafting beautiful art. The right hands may well be Katharine Morling’s.

The Shipley Art Gallery’s latest exhibitoin is showcasing two new private commissions of the artist’s work, which contains both early and more recent pieces. Billed as ‘three-dimensional drawings in the medium of ceramics,’ Morling’s work has the power to evoke numerous layers of meaning from the sharply defined and stunningly crafted figures. One larger scale piece, Gardens Edge, portrays an intriguing yet somehow unsettling scene of five children and a single adult woodsman attending to a tree in the garden. All of the figures appear to be oblivious to each other’s presence, interacting much more easily with nature than with each other. If Morling’s work changes your perceptions on porcelain, then some of the works on display will also be for sale. It’s probably time to chuck that ugly old doll out now.

Katharine Morling: Porcelain Edge comes to the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead from Saturday 19th September to Saturday 9th January.

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