By Claire Lovett, May 31 2015 07:40PM
Life and death Pompeii and Herculaneum
28 March – 29 September 2013
The British Museum's major exhibition Life and Death Pompeii and Heculaneum is the first ever held on these important cities at the British Museum, and the first such major exhibition in London for almost 40 years. It is the result of close collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendency of Naples and Pompeii, and brings together over 250 fascinating objects, both recent discoveries and celebrated finds from earlier excavations. Many of these objects have never before been seen outside Italy. The exhibition has a unique focus, looking at the Roman home and the people who lived in these ill-fated cities.
Back in May 2012, I was approached by a Buyer from the British Museum Company and asked if I would like to produce a collection of ceramic pieces inspired by Roman urns and the wall paintings and frescos of Pompeii and Herculaneum, to be sold in the Grenville room shop for the duration of the exhibition. This is an exciting opportunity and I feel honoured to have been asked to create work for such a prestigious institution.
Adapting my existing moulds and using new screen-printed patterns, I have produced a collection four different pieces:
PEELING FRESCO URN
Inspired by Roman urns and the wall paintings and frescos of Pompeii and Herculaneum, this decorative vase is press-moulded from paper clay. The layered peeling edges are screen printed with sections of the Garden and Doves Fresco discovered at the House of the Golden Bracelet, on the western edge of Pompeii. They become deteriorated during firing revealing glimpses of a mosaic pattern underneath - this piece is reminiscent of the archaeological relics excavated from Pompeii.
Executed upon freshly laid plaster, the Fresco paintings of Pompeii became an integral part of the wall with the setting of the plaster. In a similar way, this vase has been created on plaster moulds and built up in layers. Once the moulds are removed, the result is the impression of having been ripped from a wall, and the firing process fixes the print onto the clay.
SHALLOW BOTTLE VASE
Inspired by the deteriorated wall paintings of Pompeii and Herculaneum this double-sided shallow vase is imprinted with textured wallpaper and reveals fragments of a face taken from a wall painting.
These teacups are inspired by a cup found preserved after the volcanic eruption and featured in the Life and death Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition.
Made from stoneware paperclay, the extended layered edges are printed with sections of fresco and mosaic patterns, which deteriorate during the firing process.
FRESCO BIRD DECORATION
These hanging bird decorations are inspired by the birds featured in many of the Pompeian frescos (painted walls) of garden scenes, including the one discovered in the House of the Golden Bracelet.
For more information visit the British Museum website here: