For her show at the Garden Museum, Katie Spragg will present five sculptural works alongside a series of new drawings, created especially for the exhibition, and small sculptural interventions within the space; all on the theme of Greenhouses.
The five sculpture pieces are all from her ‘Glasshouse’ series; including a large-scale piece created as a commission for the British Ceramics Biennial AWARD show in 2017 – it will be an opportunity to see this piece, Katie’s largest-scale to date, for the first time in London. Four smaller pieces will also be on display – these an evolution of the larger piece are scaled down and more composed and contained. These four works, created earlier this year, are inspired by the glasshouses at Kew Gardens.
The pieces take the form of miniature greenhouse sections – wooden frames with combinations of clear and textured glass and concrete bases, they house Katie’s intricately modelled porcelain plants. They explore an ongoing fascination in her work; the relationship between the way we cultivate nature and how it grows freely, uninvited and independently.
In addition to these existing sculptural pieces, Katie is creating a series of new drawings exploring the breadth and variety of greenhouses. Visiting both the grand, public glasshouses of Kew and the University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden (while Katie is undertaking a six week residency in Denmark this summer) as well as private, more modest greenhouses belonging to members of the Garden Visits Committee; used for propagating plants in allotments and gardens but still supporting their own micro-eco-systems.
Drawing has always been an important part of Katie’s practice – during her process of researching and making, she creates on-site sketches and working black ink drawings before creating pieces in clay. However, this will be the first time these drawings are exhibited alongside her three-dimensional pieces.
All works will be for sale.
Combining clay with a range of processes including animation, illustration and installation, I create work that aims to arouse curiosity. Whether through sharing a story or conjuring a collective memory, my practice highlights the forgotten sources of joy and amusement that surround us. My current body of work combines ceramic objects, installation and moving image to create momentary experiences that allude to the amazement and wonder of being outside in nature.
The pieces offer the viewer a space to daydream; evoking distant, possibly half-imagined memories. The contrasting situations presented play on the conflict between our sublime fantasy of nature and the often more mundane reality of our experience of it.
Katie Spragg graduated with first class honours from BA 3D Materials Practice at Brighton University in 2010 before completing and an MA Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art in 2016. She has exhibited, held residencies and taught ceramics at institutions both nationally and internationally – including South Korea, Denmark and Germany.