Introducing ceramic work by partnership John Julian and Makoto Kagoshima


Messums Wilshire is delighted to announce the inaugural set of porcelain works belonging to the partnership between prolific ceramicist John Julian (Julian Sainsbury) and the celebrated Japanese artist and ceramicist Makoto Kagoshima. These works are some of the first in an ongoing series that the pair hope to collaborate on going forward.

Makoto Kagoshima, based in Kyushu, the southern island of Japan, illustrates whimsical and heartwarming motifs on clay, making each ceramic object a unique, one-of-a-kind piece of art. His works are designed with a variety of plants and animals, remembered from his childhood.

John Julian with Makoto Kagoshima

Sculptor and designer Julian Sainsbury is recognised for his collection of exquisite kitchenware, serveware and tableware. His designs are known for their pared-back aesthetic, neutral palette and finely judged simplicity. Leading chefs, discerning cooks and foodies alike around the world appreciate the sculptural form and the excellent functionality of his enduring classic designs. In 2013, after becoming disenchanted with the restrictions of conventional mass manufacturing, he set up his own artisanal workshop in Wiltshire.

Sainsbury and Kagoshima were initially brought together to work on a collaboration for the Japanese retailer, Isetan. The pieces of this project were exhibited and sold within Isetan, Japan in March 2017.  This collaboration was formed of plates, bowls and mugs stamped with Kagoshima designs as well as beautifully hand painted jugs, decorated by the artist on his initial visit to the John Julian workshop in Burcombe. The hand-painted work, in much demand, sold out instantly, inspiring further collaboration.
Later in 2017, Kagoshima re-visited the John Julian Workshop and took the opportunity to visit Messums Wiltshire. After which, the pair decided again to cooperate, with Kagoshima painting three of Sainsbury’s large ceramic plates. To create his folkloric design, Kagoshima paints using black slip directly onto the clay, scratching through the layers to give the line detailing. The painted plates are typical of Kagoshima’s linear style, but with a quintessentially British-themed twist, signed on the back by the artist. Featured animals include horses, foxes and a pair of doves, all intertwined with roses and other flowers. These three plates are available to purchase in our 13th century Medieval barn.
They are not the first collaborative works that Messums Wiltshire has displayed. Back in the summer of 2017, we featured Buckmaster French’s evocative leaf etchings in the show Material: Wood, nodding to famous artistic duos throughout history; the likes of Gilbert & George and the brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman.
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