selected by JOHN CHRISTIAN
to 30 November 2009
Whether or not I am a real collector, with quite that focus and killer-instinct characteristic of the most committed, I have certainly been hooked on pots from very early days.
And I have always been lucky enough to have mentors, people who, often inadvertently, have opened my eyes to some new aspect of ceramics or taught me invaluable lessons in connoisseurship.
Ever since Anthony Shaw held his first exhibition in 2004, he has been among these gurus, representing the ideal of an amateur in the studio pottery field.
Not for him the postage-stamp approach (comprehensiveness before quality) or the bagging of prestigious trophies (ultimate objective peer envy), let alone the still
greater vulgarity of buying for financial investment. Motivated simply by love and understanding of the subject, he has formed a collection that can only be
described as a work of art in itself, an unashamedly personal statement that puts to the test its maker's taste, knowledge, vigilance and critical insight.
Anthony's flattering invitation to select his next exhibition allows me to pay tribute to this shining example of collecting in its purest and most
creative form. My aim has been relatively modest. Eschewing themes and 'narratives', I have simply chosen pieces I particularly liked and tried to arrange them in
ways that enabled them to establish visual dialogues, sometimes on the basis of stylistic affinity but perhaps more often through formal and conceptual divergence.
The experience has been an unmixed delight, and I hope that some of the pleasure it has given me comes across in the finished product.