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Laura Carlin: Ceramics

Laura Carlin: Ceramics

8 September 2018 – 19 January 2019 

A touring exhibition from House of Illustration

“As soon as I found out that an illustrator’s job was to tell stories through pictures, I wanted to be one.”

Award-winning illustrator Laura Carlin explores the power of ceramics and storytelling, in a new exhibition at Shipley Art Gallery on tour from House of Illustration. 

Five large-scale pieces based on archetypal ceramic forms such as the tile, plate and vessel reveal that pottery, like paper, can be a powerful narrative medium.

Ceramics have been used since the earliest human civilisations to record stories and cultural beliefs for coming generations. The most well-known examples come from the ancient Greeks, who developed a distinctive artistic style to show military achievements, mythical stories, and religious scenes on vases and jugs.

“My work with ceramics is self-taught. Yet there is freedom in not knowing the rules and, more importantly, it helps keep me looking and learning. This feeds back into my job as an illustrator. I am forced to look again and question my way of working.”

Laura Carlin: Ceramics will include a mural of 2.5 x 2.4m, comprising 650 earthenware tiles showing the history of London from dinosaurs to the present day. There will also be a ‘Noah’s Ark’ with 37 hand-built animals in 13 types of earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. Details are in black underglaze and all are left unglazed. On the gallery wall there will be a digitally printed textile featuring a forest design that acts as a backdrop for 8 individually hand built and glazed figurines on custom-made shelves.


The exhibition will be accompanied by learning activities for families and school workshops, inspired by Laura’s work and led by professional illustrators.

Julie Milne, Chief Curator of Art Galleries, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums says: “We are delighted that the Laura Carlin ceramics exhibition is touring to the Shipley Art Gallery, a nationally renowned centre for contemporary craft with a strong ceramics collection. The exhibition will be a catalyst for a lively events and learning programme appealing to all age groups.”


Laura Carlin: Ceramics is a touring exhibition from House of Illustration. It is on display at the Shipley Art Gallery from 8 September – 19 January. Admission is free, donations are welcome.

To find out more and booking details, visit www.shipleyartgallery.org.uk, follow us on Twitter @theshipley and ‘Shipley Art Gallery’ on Facebook.


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