12 – 24 December 2022
“It’s very hard for me to definitively categorise myself, because it has always been my philosophy to first and foremost do things which I personally find fun. I always hope to be able to combine the freedom of being an artist, along with the patience required of a potter, and the resourcefulness of a craftsman.” Makoto Kagoshima
Makoto Kagoshima trained as an artist, and then worked for the Conran Shop in Japan, but it is with clay that he has found his medium. On carved and moulded terracotta bodies, whether plates, vases, tiles or simply designed, three dimensional animals, Kagoshima unfolds a joyful and dreamlike universe of curling tendrils, bursting blooms, charming animals, darting fish, soaring birds, strutting geese and alluring snakes. These highly stylised creatures and plants, some drawn from childhood memory, some swimming up from his dreams, may seem naive, but the designs are sophisticated, the colour sense refined and the craftsmanship accomplished. While each piece is unique, the design language is consistent, creating en masse a distinctive, exuberant imaginary world. Although he first began to work with clay as a child, in his grandfather’s workshop, it was not until he was thirty five that Kagoshima was able to devote himself full time to his ceramics. Since then, his bold, quirky designs have proven so appealing that they have been used also for textiles, prints and murals.
Excerpt from an article by Emma Crichton-Miller, journalist and TV producer specialising in the arts. She is a columnist for Apollo magazine and is also a freelance contributor to the Royal Academy of Arts