photo: SAIKI Taku

Poem Bowl

ArtistRupert SPIRA
Material/ Techniqueglazed ceramic
Size/ DurationH20 × φ59cm
Copyright Notice© Rupert SPIRA
Year of acquisition/ donation2005(作品購入年月日:2005/03/31)
DescriptionBorn in London, UK in 1960. Lives and works in Bishops Castle.

At the age of 15, Rupert Spira decided to pursue a career in ceramics after seeing the solo exhibition of Michael CARDEW, who was the immediate pupil of the pioneer of British modern ceramics, Bernard LEACH. Subsequently Spira studied under Cardew and learned the attitude of pursuing the ‘possibility of being able to convey an idea through the form of a container.’ He expresses his ideas in simple and delicate curved lines in dishes and vases. In recent years, he has been conveying his own figurative language through a series called “Poem Bowl,” which have their surfaces densely incised with poems the artist composed himself.

A delicate surface formed thinly on a potter’s wheel goes up to a gently curving brim, and as a whole, this work has a large open flower-like form. This is one of the most important pieces of “Poem Bowl” series, which has been glazed with white glaze, applied with black wash, and then incised with the artist’s poem by scraping away the blackened part on the surface. The verses were finely engraved concentrically throughout the inside and the outside of the piece. The characters of the poem, which are so small that it is hard to comprehend, appear almost like a chain of spell cast in a sequence of patterns, and exude a sense of consciousness hidden in the surfaces of the letters. A monochrome minimal world is expressed with profound spirituality in its extremely controlled form.