Claire Partington’s Figures Combine Centuries of Narratives, Styles

by Andy SmithPosted on

Claire Partington, a ceramics artist living and working in London, is a storyteller. The artist says that the aesthetic of her spellbinding figures is inspired by the “European Applied Art and Design styles from the 1600s onwards.” Yet, she’s fascinated by the tradition of appropriating so-called “exotic” styles and cobbling together influences into a single artifact also drives her work.

Several of her figures have interchangeable heads, further adding to the narratives and mystery of the pieces. Partington uses traditional processes to create these figures. They’re coil-built and then refined before “adding surface decorations of sprigged (press molded) ephemera and modern computer generated enamel decoration over the glaze.”

“Narrative and the retelling and misinterpretation of stories is at the center of my work,” Partington says, in a statement. “Initially concentrating on reimagining and retelling Folk and fairy stories with particularly strong imagery, then merging these stories with imagined back stories for historical figures and their associated iconic imagery.”

Partington’s works can be found in private collections across the globe, including eydan Weiss Collection and 21C Museum.

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