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To celebrate the opening of his new exhibition in the Museum’s Foyle Space, Visions in Porcelain: A Rake’s Progress, ceramic artist Bouke de Vries will discuss his latest work with writer and broadcaster Louisa Buck.
Inspired by Hogarth’s series of original paintings at the Soane Museum, de Vries draws on his love of storytelling, and talent for symbolism through ceramics, with eight newly created porcelain vessels presented in various states of (dis)repair. Starting with an immaculate celadon vase, de Vries treats the following seven increasingly deteriorating vases with a variety of restoration processes and glazes, which parallel the moral and physical degeneration of Hogarth’s anti-hero Tom Rakewell. Cracks appear in the surface, the vessels slump and implode – with obvious and drastic methods of repair failing to save the vase or Rake from their ultimate demise.
The evening includes an exclusive out-of-hours viewing of the exhibition and the opportunity to view Hogarth's paintings which inspired the series in the Picture Room.
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Originally working in fashion before retraining as a restorer, Bouke de Vries began creating his works of art in 2008. He has since gained a significant following and now has work in an impressive range of international public collections, including the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA.
De Vries sees an inherent value in the discarded objects he reinvents, giving a new lease of life to a broad spectrum of ceramics otherwise destined to be thrown away. His pieces are often humorous, sometimes shocking, but always reinvent significant, yet damaged, historical materials, whilst adding unexpected twists to their ongoing narrative.
Louisa Buck is a writer and broadcaster on contemporary art. She is a Contributing Editor and London Contemporary Art Correspondent for The Art Newspaper and a regular reviewer and commentator on BBC radio and TV. Her articles have appeared in publications ranging from the Guardian and Vogue to Frieze and Artforum.
She is the author of a number of catalogue essays for institutions including Tate, Whitechapel Gallery, ICA London, MCA Australia and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Her books include Moving Targets 2: A User’s Guide to British Art Now (Tate 2000); Market Matters: The Dynamics of the Contemporary Art Market (Arts Council England 2004) and Owning Art: The Contemporary Art Collector’s Handbook (co-authored with Judith Greer) (Cultureshock Media 2006). Commissioning Contemporary Art: A Handbook for Curators, Collectors and Artists was published by Thames & Hudson in October 2012 and in 2016 she authored ‘The Going Public Report’ commissioned by Museums Sheffield. Louisa was a judge for the 2005 Turner Prize and is a founding member of The Gallery Climate Coalition.
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Sir John Soane's Museum