Art Made in China? Clare Twomey Exhibition Questions the Notions of Value and Cost, of Kitsch and Decor

June 4, 2016

The Harley Gallery is delighted to present a Clare Twomey exhibition Made in China, featuring 80 large ceramic vases. The British artist will show her astonishing works in a summer exhibition at the gallery and bring the Chinese culture and art closer to the Western viewers, inviting them to investigate the centuries-long, rich culture of the far East. China is a part of the world rarely talked about in schools and its history and art are often overlooked in the Western education system, which makes this exhibition even more interesting and educative for all generations willing to explore the different, fascinating culture. The ceramic works featured in the Clare Twomey exhibition will tickle the curiosity of the visitors and offer an insight into the ancient Chinese practice.

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Clare Twomey - Made in China

Made in China

Even though the title of this exhibition alludes to the ever-present inscriptions on various cheaply made products that have flooded the world, in reality, it offers something invaluable. Made in China is an impressive sculpture installation of giant glossy red ceramic vases. There will be 80 pieces displayed at the gallery, 79 of which were adorned with transfers at a factory in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen, and one was created and hand decorated with 22-carat gold the Royal Crown Derby. This one vase took the same amount of production time as the 79 pieces made in China, making it the highlight of the exhibition and presenting the immense craftsmanship skills that were needed in the production process. With the help of historic artisan skills, the vase was adorned with one of the oldest and most popular patterns of the company, the famous Avesbury, which has seen the light of day on numerous luxurious tableware items since 1932.

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Portland Vase replica, on display at The Portland Collection - credit The Harley Gallery

The One, The Only, The Vase

Clare Twomey has stated that the methods of the decoration of the Chinese manufacturer and the Royal Crown Derby are very similar. However, the British Avesbury design is one of the most iconic and most recognizable patterns with the rich history, and it presents the unique cultural heritage. Royal Crown Derby’s fine bone china and 22 carat gold are greatly valuable and sought after, while the Chinese vases have transfers that are less precious and the design of them is less sophisticated. The Sales and Marketing Director at Royal Crown Derby, Christopher Oakes stated that the company was exceptionally proud of the fact that they are one of the original ones, and that they remain one of the few fine bone china manufacturers based in England whose products are made only in their factory in Derby.

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Sarah Danays - Arms of the Portland Vase, Octavia © Sarah Danays, 2015

Clare Twomey Exhibition at Harley Gallery

Clare Twomey exhibition Made in China will be on display at the Harley Gallery from June 18th to August 14th, 2016. In addition to this show, a Sarah Danays’ Arms of The Portland Vase will be exhibited as well, so make sure to visit the gallery and be wowed by the amazing pieces featured in both exhibitions. Clare Twomey has first presented her works at the West Norway Museum of Decorative Art in the international exhibition Thing Tang Trash in 2010 and is now presenting them internationally. Visitors will get the chance to walk among the astonishing artworks and really feel as if they were a part of a vastly significant culture. The entry for both exhibitions is free and the gallery is located at A60 Mansfield Road in Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire.

All images courtesy of the gallery.
Featured image: Clare Twomey - Made in China