With our major extension to Tate St Ives approaching completion, in the adjacent original building, “That Continuous Thing” marks the reopening of the newly refurbished Evans and Shalev galleries. This exhibition explores 100 years of ceramics with over 140 works from 50 artists from Europe, Japan and North America, examining the changing nature of the ceramics studio across the 20th century and how a new generation of UK based artists are looking again at ideas of art and craft.
Jamie Fobert Architects was invited to curate Gallery 1, which features ceramics from studio potters Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, shining a spotlight on the relationship between Japan and the UK from the 1910s to 40s.
In designing the installation of these works, a key challenge was how to show domestic objects in a high-ceilinged, white gallery space. Using a datum line suggestive of domestic scale, we painted the lower walls a warm, dark grey paint to evoke a home environment.
Inspired by furniture pieces that Leach himself designed and had made in Japan in the 1910s/20s, we conceived of a set of black mdf tables and shelving. The furniture pieces respond in scale and form to our careful groupings of ceramic pieces.
Photography (c) Tate
Bernard Leach at an exhibition of his work in Tokyo in 1920, for which he designed the furniture as well as the ceramic exhibits.