Inspiration takes many different forms.
With 11 unique local artists exhibiting at The Barn for this year’s Bucks Art Weeks our brand new series of blog posts will uncover the paths that each has taken to reach the point of exhibiting their work but also who and what truly inspires them.
Some of our artists have been exhibiting for years but for some this will be their first larger-scale public exhibition.
Today we take a closer look at local ceramic artist Bronwen Coussens, her inspirations and her journey.
What are you most looking forward to about this year’s Bucks Art Weeks?
It’s so nice to be able to attend ‘live’ exhibitions once again and the Barn is a wonderful venue to exhibit in so looking forward to that.
When did you know that you wanted to become a ceramic artist?
My parents thought that I had some artist talent so sent me to various Saturday art classes, pottery being one of them. I don’t recall being much good but one never forgets the joy of working with clay so some 30 years later, I joined a pottery group, found my voice and have never looked back. I now have my own studio with all the equipment that I need to be self-sufficient.
What inspires you?
Inspiration like so many artists, comes from my surroundings, past and present. I lived by the sea in South Africa as a young child and teenager and spent most of my time at the seaside when I wasn’t at school or work. I am also an avid walker so all nature and geology give me lots of ideas. I always think that there is also a little bit of Africa hidden in my work.
Who is your favourite artist of all time and why?
I have so many favourite potter artists, I find it hard to choose just one but one from the past is Lucie Rie. Her forms are simple yet intricate at times but which ever one they are, they seem to have a presence. As well as her wonderful forms, her glazes are varied and just beautifully thought out. She was so prolific in her life as a potter.
(above examples of Lucie Rie's work and the great lady herself)
Currently, I really like Jack Doherty’s work. His forms absolutely speak to me, beautiful, delicate and peaceful and his glaze work is just stunning. The most beautiful turquoise and other hues, achieved by his soda firing and copper glazes. I luckily own one of his pieces and it never ceases to give me pleasure.
(above Jack Doherty and some of his work)
Strange that I choose these two potters who throw when I am a hand builder, but it is their overall aesthetics that attracts me.
If money was no object and you could buy any piece of art that had ever existed, what would you choose and why?
Again, I am torn but will go for Grayson Perry who is such a phenomenal artist who happens to put his work on pots. There are no bounds to his talent and if I owned one of his pots, I would keep turning it round every now and again because you will always see something different and thought provoking. He is so clever and has given so much to the arts and this country and besides, he put pottery on the map by winning the Turner Prize. What’s not to like!
Do you have any other shows planned for this year?
I will be exhibiting at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley as part of the Henley Arts Trail in July.
(Bronwen Coussens work - above)