Frink and Ceramics

Although Frink herself said, “I hate using clay – apart from everything else it weighs a tonne”. She had a keen appreciation of those who did use it. Throughout her life Frink was a great collector of art, at Woolland she curated each room with her own works intermingling with furniture, paintings and other decorative works. If you walked into her kitchen before her death you would have seen a pot by John Piper and two plates by Picasso. In fact, Frink owned three plates by Picasso. They were Madoura Pottery, having come from the workshop owned by Suzanne and Georges Romie, which Picasso worked in from 1947. She also owned a cylindrical vase by John Piper, which was most likely thrown by Geoffrey Eastop. It is a beautifully stylised concept, with the main focus a butterfly that appears to be trying to fly out of the vase.

In a unique body of works, Japanese ceramicist Makoto has provided us with an artistic response not only to Frink herself in the form of a portrait but also taking inspiration from some of her most celebrated animal motifs.  One of these designs is the baboon, which Frink both drew and sculpted through her life and even after her death a plaster baboon continued to reside in her studio in Woolland where it mingled with the tools on one of the shelves. Despite having done drawings of animals before her move to France in 1967, Frink’s focus on animals increased as her studio in Le Village was far more isolated.

The hare which features in Makoto’s piece appears as part of The Hare and the Tortoise which was part of Frink’s Aesop’s Fables of 1968 which was commissioned by Lord Alistair McAlpine.



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