Hannah Walters: Selected works, 2021
The Forgotten Locks, 2021
My work is a series of non-functional urns and vases. They reference traditional Welsh porcelain through their forms, but like 3D drawings they are symbols of them rather than copies. Lips of vases and lids on urns hint at the idea of function despite being filled with sprigs and flowers. They sit on a series of crank and porcelain pedestals, elevating them to resemble the social status objects they were inspired by.
This collection has come from a focus on place. As a Welsh artist based in Cardiff, the space I’m surrounded by reflects into my work. I have been examining the façades that are hidden in plain sight in the highstreets; focusing on the ornate leaves and flowers that decorate the edges of now high street brands and fast-food venues. Further down, underneath our feet are Cardiff’s lost canals, the City growing over the top with concrete and brick. Each piece has been named after a forgotten lock from these canals, hinting at the layers of history buried in this city.
This clash of old next to new, such as carved stone next to plastic neon signs fascinates me. These contrasts and conflicts within the forgotten pieces of architecture are at the root of my work. This tension is echoed through my unusual use of materials, crank clay and porcelain. High value materials next to low, they sit uneasily next to each other. They twist and shift and move across the surface of the vessel. Porcelain has a memory and when it is fired up to 1260 degrees, it wants to move. The crank clay is utterly unmoving and extenuates the restlessness of the porcelain, allowing the final result to capture movement and texture from the firing itself. Sometimes jarring and often humorous, this clashing of cultural reference and material is both satisfying and unnerving all at once. My work is homage to the continued relevance of historical objects as reflective of the society in which they are both made and viewed.
The Y Cabinet, 2021
The ceilings in Newton house show a clash of different styles and eras, from Jacobean to Victorian. There is not only beauty in them but real reflection of humanity and society, from the moulds the plasters had to use to the whims of fashion that dictated their design. Walking from room to room bring new delights from these twisting complicated borders.
My fascination with the handmade, such as those ceilings, came from the years I have spent working in an antiques centre. Those years nurtured a true appreciation of objects and the handmade, in particular with Welsh Nant Garw porcelain and Delftware. They evidence the West’s obsession with porcelain, the power of social status symbols, yet their value and desirability rises and falls according to interior trends. Viewing objects through this lens allows me to play with this ornate antique aesthetic with a contemporary understanding of imagery.
My ceramic work, just like these ornate ceilings, are an amalgamation of different styles. This can result in work such as a traditional vase, based on the forms of delicate Nant Garw porcelain, being built up with a crude array of contemporary sprigs.
My choice of material is integral to the piece. The work is made from both porcelain, mixing a naive and playful style with a traditional and valuable material, as well as crank clay, a crude and heavy material. Sometimes jarring and often humorous, this clashing of cultural reference and material is both satisfying and unnerving all at once. My work is homage to the continued relevance of historical objects as reflective of the society in which they are both made and viewed.
- The Forgotten Locks, 2021, Porcelain and Crank Clay, Photo by Marie Francesca
- Llandaff, 2021, Porcelain and Crank Clay, 50x19x19, Photo by Marie Francesca
- Gabalfa, 2021, Porcelain and Crank Clay, 30x16x11, Photo by Marie Francesca
- Cambrian, 2021, Porcelain and Crank Clay, 16x9x6, Photo by Marie Francesca
- Mynachdy, 2021, Porcelain and Crank Clay, 44x19x19, Photo by Marie Francesca
- Llwynymellt, 2021, Porcelain and Crank Clay, 26x10x10, Photo by Marie Francesca
- Melingriffith, 2021, Porcelain and Crank Clay, 15x7x7, Photo by Marie Francesca
- Forest, 2021, Porcelain and Crank Clay, 30x20x14, Photo by Marie Francesca
- Sea, 2021, Porcelain and Crank Clay, 16x11x10, Photo by Marie Francesca
- The Fragmented Urn, 2021, Porcelain and Crank Clay, group shot