Ian Davenport creates hand-painted plates at MEISSEN® in support of the South London Gallery’s education programmes

Ian Davenport creates hand-painted plates at MEISSEN® in support of the South London Gallery’s education programmes

15. September 2016

British abstract painter, Ian Davenport, known for his bold use of colour and unconventional painting processes, has created a series of hand-painted plates with the leading porcelain manufacturer Meissen. The plates, in a limited edition of 26 but each one of which is unique, are being made for the SLG Council, a group of art philanthropists who support the South London Gallery’s award-winning education programmes. 

Each year SLG Council members receive a limited edition artist plate produced exclusively for the SLG by Meissen. Gary Hume produced a single design for the first plate in the series, but this year Davenport took up a short residency at the Meissen headquarters in Saxony, Germany. He worked alongside the company’s porcelain experts to continue Meissen’s historic traditions of hand painting on porcelain, but also to experiment with new techniques, and particularly that of pouring lines of paint onto the porcelain. Davenport was the youngest ever Turner Prize nominee in 1991 and over the past 25 years has continued to be recognised for his use of bold colour and unconventional approach of using household paint poured into arches, circles, puddles and lines. The plates produced with Meissen are a further development of those techniques to create 26 unique, hand painted plates, each one measuring 35.7cm in diameter and initialled by the artist on the reverse.

The SLG Council supports the South London Gallery’s extensive education work, much of which is with children and young people living locally to the gallery. Ranging from workshops for primary and secondary school pupils each year, through to drop in family workshops, a dedicated website for young people, an informal young people’s programme, work with children looked after by social services and a creative space on a neighbouring housing estate, the SLG’s education programmes make a vital contribution to cultural life and wellbeing in its immediate neighbourhood, as well as being internationally known for its contemporary art programmes.

About working on the project Ian Davenport said; “Earlier this year I spent a week in Meissen factory doing a research trip and making some prototypes for the project at South London Gallery. It was an incredible experience, learning about porcelain manufacture and the history of its development over the last 300 years. The factory is a treasure trove of different techniques, approaches and objects of this wonderful material. In collaboration with the art studio at the factory I began trying to find a way of making the glazes and colour work, pouring the liquid colours. It took a while and some raised eyebrows, but eventually we began to see the results. Making something of this kind, under time pressure and unsure of the process takes an act of faith from all parties but the positive outlook with which Meissen embraced this project, made it very enjoyable.”

About supporting the SLG’s education programmes Meissen said; “The value of supporting emerging talent and allowing their creativity to express itself, has been a subject at the core of Meissen since the start of the company, some 300 years ago. We are very proud to be supporting the South London Gallery’s education programmes, we feel this is an important initiative which will benefit the artists of tomorrow.”

To find out more about the SLG Council visit www.southlondongallery.org/supportus