Eyes open wide when served a helping of Anna Barlow’s uber scrumptious ceramic ice-cream fantasies - shouts of ‘Gimme a spoon!’ (not always silently in your head) are hard to stifle. Barlow presents a master class of consummate manipulation of materials to visually express the addiction of instant gratification - tantalising, delightful and, yes, a little subversive.
Barlow’s command of the medium (she lectures in glaze technology at Central St Martins) results in a true feast for the eyes - as she explains “I have developed techniques to highlight the nature of clay and glaze to mimic edible items. I am excited to use ceramic materials that already possess the quality of the food that I want to re-create. The dry texture of high fired porcelain translates into wafers whilst a silky opaque glaze obeys it own desire to run and drip, achieving the final melting results.”
The portrayal of food through the ages - with its connotations of pleasure, desire, and historically sometime signals of status and affluence - is pervasive. Modern preoccupation with rampant consumption and excessive indulgence overlays this tradition and, ramped up by the Pandemic forcing us all to spend more time confronting the kitchen, have given rise to a new subset of confection as art. Barlow doesn’t hold back and piles it high - teetering and starting to melt, the occasional ice-cream cone goes splat. She adds “The rituals and culture around the eating of sweet food continue to fascinate me. An undercurrent of competitiveness, anxiety, consumerism and performance is usually lurking beneath the surface of a three tiered ombre butter cream piñata cake. Age old fears, joys and tragedies tend to go hand in hand with a gathering of people around a cake…”
“106 Doughnuts for Wedgwood” Fiskars, Finland
Miam Miam! Ceramique Gourmandes,Foudation Bernardaud Foundation, Limoges, France.
“Sandbox” Solo Exhibition, Whistleblower Gallery, Brighton.
Window Display at the Last Tuesday Society, London.
Useful/Beautiful; Why Craft Matters, Harewood House, Leeds.
Museum of Ceramics, Talavera De La Reina, Spain
Collect with Cynthia Corbett Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, London
Ceramic Art London, Central St Martins, London.
“Spoiled” Solo exhibition, Craft Central, London.
Double Trouble, Made in Britaly, London
Museum of Ice Cream, New York
Palm Springs Art Fair, Rebecca Hossack Gallery
Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Charlotte Street, London.
Solo Exhibition, Landmark Shopping Centre, Hong Kong
Affordable Art Fair Hong Kong, Rebecca Hossack Gallery
Affordable Art Fair New York, Rebecca Hossack Gallery
Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Rebecca Hossack Gallery
Lapada Art and Antiques Fair, Rebecca Hossack Gallery
Art Hamptons, Rebecca Hossack Gallery.
GICB Biennale 2015
India Art Fair, Scream booth, New Delhi, India
Summer Exhibition, Scream, London
Deception: Ceramics and Imitation, Group show, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
London Art Fair, Bicha Gallery
Collect, Saatchi Gallery, London
AAF Singapore, Bicha Gallery
AAF Hampstead, Bicha Gallery
Savouring the Remnants, solo exhibition , Bicha Gallery
AAF Stockholm, Bicha Gallery
Royal Academy Summer Show 2012
Ceramic Art London 2012
AAF New York, Bicha Gallery