London-based ceramic artist Robert Dawson plays with perspective to distort and intrigue his viewers’ sense of seeing. Dawson’s most recent commission came from the Liverpool City Council and challenged the artist to create a massive, £1.2million tile mural for the newly opened Sedgemoor Dementia Care Centre. The artwork covers three facades of the sleek building facing an open garden, and is rendered in such a way that the tiles appear to drift off the flat plane and into unknown space.
In contrast to the fleeting Sedgemoor mural, For Eloïse at the ultra-narrow Philip House on Landsdowne Road, Croydon, makes the flat plane of the building appear three-dimensional, as if the tall windows were set in niches. Dawson’s masterful visual manipulations on architectural facades are astonishing, but it’s his After Willow and After Landscape plate series that have landed his works in the collection of The Victoria & Albert Museum. Each unique piece in the collection displays what looks like a magnified section of traditionally elegant Blue Willow-patterned ceramic ware—enormous grapes intrude to the right, a miniature tree rests on the left, and the snippet of a geometric pattern hangs above two birds occupying the center. The result is a heightened attention to detail and a curt smile of drollery.
Sedgemoor mural in Liverpool, UK
Old New Borrowed Blue, commission for the Churchill Hospital in Oxford