Alison Britton OBE (b.1948) is one of the UK’s leading ceramists. She was part of a group of radical artists graduating from the Royal College of Art in the late 1970s who began working on re-establishing the ‘vessel’ as an abstract form, taking inspiration from Gordon Baldwin and Hans Coper and moving away from the Leach school of Anglo-Oriental ceramics towards a more modernist aesthetic.

In her work, Britton explores the pot as a form and its relationship to function. Her forms have a loose connection to function in that they are containers, but often their size, lack of handles of double spouts renders use in the traditional sense difficult. The surface is treated as a 3-dimensional canvas with decoration applied in an abstract and painterly manner, with a limited palette of pigments.

Her works can be found in major public and private collections internationally including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, and Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. She trained at the Central School of Art & Design and the Royal College of Art, London, and is widely recognized for her work as a curator, writer and lecturer.

Britton was awarded an OBE in 1990 in recognition of her services to the applied arts, and she is a senior tutor at the Royal College of Art.


2016     Alison Britten: Content and Form, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
2012     Life and Still Life, new pots by Alison Britton shown with objects from her collection,   Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK
              Standing and Running, Marsden Woo Gallery, London, UK
2007     Containing, Barrett Marsden Gallery, London, UK
2005     Barrett Marsden Gallery, with the Ed Wolf Collection of Alison Britton pots, London,    UK
2003     Barrett Marsden Gallery, London, UK
2001     Galerie DM Sarver, Paris, France
2000     Barrett Marsden Gallery, London, UK
1998     Barrett Marsden Gallery, London, UK
              Crafts Council Shop at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
1996     Craft Victoria, Melbourne, Australia and tour
1995     Form and Fiction, Marianne Heller Galerie, Sandhausen, Germany
1993     Osiris Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
1990     Alison Britton ‐ A Retrospective, Two year tour organised by Aberystwyth Arts Centre,
1988     Craft Centre Gallery, Sydney, Australia
1987     Contemporary Applied Arts, London, UK
1985     Miharudo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1981     Prescote Gallery, Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK
1979    The Work of Alison Britton, Crafts Council, London, UK
1976     Amalgam, London, UK

Selected Collections

National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, Wales
Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Oslo, Norway
The British Museum, UK
Aberdeen Museum and Art Gallery, UK
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA
UCW Collection, Aberystwyth, UK
National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Shigaraki Ceramic Sculpture Park, Japan
Australian National Gallery, Canberra, Australia
National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden
Boymans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia
British Council Collection, UK
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Contemporary Art Society, London, UK
Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Crafts Council, London, UK
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland
Hove Museum & Art Gallery, UK
York City Art Gallery, UK
Wurttembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart, Germany
Kunst und Gewerbe Museum, Hamburg, Germany
Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe, Germany
Princessehoff Museum, Leeuwarden, Holland
Kruithaus Museum, Den Bosch, Holland
Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum, Norway
Svenska Handelbanken, Stockholm, Sweden
Trondheim, Norway
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Canada
National Gallery of Victoria, Australia
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
Musée de Sevres, Paris, France

Courtesy of Marsden Woo Gallery, London. Images © Philip Sayer