Daughters of Necessity: Serena Korda & Wakefield's Ceramics
2 Dec 2017 - 24 June 2018
The Hepworth Wakefield is home to a rich and eclectic collection of ceramics made by some of the great names of modern pottery, including Hans Coper and Lucy Rie. For this exhibition, British artist Serena Korda chose a selection of these ceramics to display alongside her own new and existing works, exploring where these objects sit between function and sculpture.
Working with ceramics for several years, Korda combines her experimental approach to the material with her interest in the acoustic properties of objects. For The Hepworth Wakefield, Korda created a new work, Resonators, comprising five large, richly glazed vessels with openings at each end. Visitors were invited to interact with the work by placing their ears to each vessel to hear a range of bass-like tones.
The exhibition featured a new presentation of Korda’s ceramic sound installation Hold Fast, Stand Sure, I Scream a Revolution, which was premiered at Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art in 2016. This work was made up of 29 individual porcelain mushrooms suspended from the ceiling, which were played as bells in public performances during the Ceramics Fair at The Hepworth Wakefield in early May.
This exhibition was inspired by an essay written for Wakefield Art Gallery in the 1950s which referred to clay vessels as ‘daughters of necessity’. With this in mind, Serena relates the idea of the Daughters of Necessity to the activity of working in ceramics, using alchemical processes that embrace risk and failure.