“My new pieces Reconciliation, Congruence and Consonance are based on a Greek lion sculpture from the Parthenon galleries at the British Museum. To display the artefact at its original height a steel armature was used to bridge the gaps left by missing sections. The modern interventions seem to express something of the reality of time. The decay of a physical object, the passing of the society that made it, and of our contemporary relationship to the object, how it is understood and treated.These notions of passing time and historical context are something I continue to investigate .
The Ancient Greek Lion suggests to me of mounted dinosaur skeletons, shapes of bone turned into stone over an period of time impossible to comprehend. I am drawn to using period furniture within my sculpture as I see it as an equivalent, a relic surviving from an earlier time.Furniture by its nature carries references to the body and to function, it is designed to interact with us physically, its shape and solidity echo that of bone structures.
Much of my previous work has been inspired by the physical nature of life. My fascination has been with how the machinery of the body enables us to experience the world around us.
Within my new pieces have been developing a process of integrating wood with ceramic .The aims of this work are to retain the energy and sense of poise inherent in the purely ceramic work, to free the work from the restriction of kiln size by working with a modular technique and to change the patterns in my methods of construction thus opening up sculptural potential.
The skills I have learnt as a gilder and restorer have become increasingly relevant to my art practice. Through this new body of work I aim to use my broad material knowledge to express my passion for skill, process and construction.
The addition of other materials with the ceramic seemed a logical step. Typically I would take templates from furniture the body or an architectural feature, integrating them into each piece.In this case I wanted incorporate real life objects into my sculptures. They become part of the sculptural whole but still maintain an independent sense of themselves. Within the piece ‘Reconciliation’ I have used parts from a chair. The individual parts are still recognisable as furniture , indeed two legs are still serving their original purpose as legs within the piece.
It was important to me that when incorporating the furniture elements their original french polished state is intact, or if needed reinstated. I did not want the pieces joined together in a messy, clumsy or seemingly unintentional way, but rather as a careful intervention between materials. The pegs from the jointing process are clearly visible and are neatly sawn off.
With clay I tend to emphasise the rough raw nature of the material, but I am drawn to the furniture through its quality of smooth finishing. The surface qualities of rough dry clay and polished lacquer enhance each other through contrast.” Grant Aston
Setting Out, Contemporary Ceramics, London 2006 Prospect, The National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, 2006 Cosmic Megabrain, Cordy House, London 2008 First Night Last Friday, Vanguard Court, London 2011 Northern Stars, The Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool, 2013 The British Ceramics Bieniele, Stoke on Trent, 2013 Ceramic Art London, The Royal College of Art, London, 2014 Trace, A.P.T. Gallery, London, 2014 Ceramic Art London, The Royal College of Art, London 2015 Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition, Copenhagen, 2016 The Summer Show 2016, The Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2016 Haptic Tacit, The Leyden Gallery, London, 2016 Haptic Tacit, The Old Fire Station, Oxford, 2017 TASTE contemporary craft, Artgenève, 2017 The Young Masters Art Prize, Corbett Projects, Gallery 8,London 2017 The Young Masters Art Prize, Corbett Projects, The Royal Overseas League, London 2017 Material: Wood design and inspiration, Messums Wiltshire, Tisbury, 2017
EDUCATION AND TRAINING:
Hothouse 3, 2013, Crafts Council Development scheme M.A. Ceramics and Glass The Royal College of Art 2003-2005 The University of Wales institute, Cardiff 1999 -2003 B.A. Ceramics- First B-tec – Advanced GNVQ in general art and design, Newcastle Under Lyme College of Art and Design 1997-1999
The Contemporary Art Society, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
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