From 16 January to 20 February, at Sidcot Arts Centre, acclaimed ceramic sculptor Ikuko Iwamoto presents her exhibition influenced by the microscopic detail to be found in the underwater world.
Growing up in Wakayama, in southern Japan, Ikuko felt an affinity for the natural landscapes that surrounded her, drawing on the mountainous and oceanic vantage points to create her unique works of art. Her unique style takes patience and an intricate eye for detail, which Ikuko develops through the observational microscopic lens she uses to inspire her designs. Talking about the process, Ikuko explains:
“It depends on how big or how many models in the frame, but it takes approximately 2-3 months to complete one framed sculpture.”
Her individual technique, which she sets in porcelain, was inspired by an unlikely catalyst:
“I am always interested in the microscopic world (since 20 years ago, I have been creating hand-built sculpture in Japan). Now I am interested in space, so both micro and macro worlds are my main interests.” Ikuko says.
“Many people are very skillful and value delicate sensibilities in Japan, so I was influenced by this culture.”
Finding guidance from her Ceramic Master, Asuka Tsuboi, in Japan, Ikuko came to the UK in 2001 to study for her bachelors degree in ceramics, at Camberwell College of Arts. She then took her studies to the next level with a masters in ceramic & glass from the Royal College of Art. She then went on to win the Clerkenwell Award in 2006, and in 2007, Ikuko was commissioned to produce work for the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre. She has showcased her work in many exhibitions across the UK, including Ceramic Art London and the British Ceramic Biannual in Stoke on Trent.
“I love working in the UK! I feel more free to work (and live), even though life in Japan is very convenient and easy. I have my Ceramic Master who lives in Kyoto. She was very strict when I was in Japan and a lot of people in Japan think the hierarchical relationship is the most important thing. However, many people are very skillful and value delicate sensibilities in Japan, so I was influenced by this culture. I was able to concentrate on creating my pieces, because I was a disciple of a ceramic artist in Japan, who was very strict.” Ikuko explains how her upbringing in Japan has laid the foundations for the work she produces here in the UK today.
Ikuko now works from her studio in Clerkenwell in London, creating original works, using porcelain, as well as plaster for the moulding and modelling of her designs. She has exhibitions at Ceramic Art London in April, as well as a current Modern Japanese Design collection showing at Manchester Art Gallery. Ikuko’s work will also be appearing as part of London Design Festival from 17 September – 25 September 2016.
Ikuko’s current exhibition is showing at Sidcot Arts Centre, in Winscombe until 20 February. Opening times: Thursday & Friday 11am – 5.30pm and Saturdays 10am – 4pm.
For more information on Ikuko Iwamoto: www.ikukoi.co.uk
For more information on Sidcot Arts Centre: www.sidcot.org.uk/arts