Paul Scott   "Spode Closed (Kilns) Casserole." In-glaze decal on rescued Spode china, 2010.  


Landscape, Pattern and Promiscuity: A story of confected landscapes, their travels through media, material, cultures and geographies

Friday, October 14, 2011 at 7pm.
Room 245, North Building of Emily Carr University of Art + Design
(1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island, Vancouver).
All are welcome and encouraged to attend.


For thirty years, Paul Scott has lived and worked in a small village in Cumbria, Northern England. He is known internationally as the author of Ceramics and Print (A&C Black, 1994/2002) and Painted Clay: Graphic Arts and the Ceramic Surface (Watson-Guptil, 2000). He has participated as a Visiting Artist and taught workshops on the Vitrified Print across Europe, Australia and North America. In 2010, he received his PhD from Manchester Metropolitan University for his research project Ceramics, Landscape, Remediation and Confection. In 2011, he was appointed Professor 2 Ceramics at the National Academy of the Arts in Oslo, Norway. His work resides in numerous private and public collections including the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden; the National Decorative Arts Museum Norway; the Museum of Art and Design in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He has completed many public commissions including a sixty-metre length of printed porcelain tiling as part of a 300-metre Flood Defence Wall in Maryport, Cumbria; artwork for the Contemporary Craft Collection of the Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead and a thirty-metre section of the Hanoi Mosaic Mural in Vietnam. In 2012, he will complete a life-sized printed porcelain tree form for a public sculpture garden and arboretum in Denmark.

Paul Scott works with the tradition of industrial blue-and-white ceramics, playing against their comforting hominess to produce works of striking political and social commentary. Much of this ware incorporates rural imagery, which lures consumers into imagining romantic idylls far from the realities of contemporary life. Scott interrupts these bucolic images, erasing or altering sections with the inclusion of in-glaze printed decals depicting low-flying jets, nuclear reactors or abject piles of animals slaughtered in the wake of foot and mouth disease. Recently, he addressed the ironic situation in which European ceramic factories, which based their production largely on prototypes originating in the Far East, lost ground to newer, more cost-effective factories in China, Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia. Scott points to a dramatic loss of craft, expertise and practical know-how, as these have disappeared along with the workers who once plied those industries. A poignant and powerful series uses fragments and partially printed factory blanks rescued from the now-closed Spode factory, which Scott embellishes with photo-based decals depicting the factory in its ruined state.

Scott subverts through subtlety, "confecting" landscapes that confront us with our complacency in the face of environmental, economic and social loss. His lecture will trace a number of themes that resonate throughout his work, challenging us to consider the capacity of contemporary ceramics to convey significant truths. The lecture will take place 7:00 pm, Friday, October 14, 2011, in room 245, NB, Emily Carr University. We look forward to seeing you there.

Note: For more on Paul Scott's work, please see his website at www.cumbrianblues.com; his Gateshead blog at http://bit.ly/fMRSDG or his Hanoi blog at http://bit.ly/909oKT.