Conversations with the Past (22nd Sep - 3rd Nov 2018)

A collaborative exhibition by printmaker Penny Kealey and ceramicist Ilona Sulikova, inspired by Norman arches and Romanesque carving.

"We are not imitating historic symbols and imagery, but developing them towards a new conversation."

Penny Kealey

Penny Kealey believes the history of art can be seen as the history of human thought and that it is important to continue to refer to, engage and play with cultural heritage. ‘Gombrich after all said we can say what we like about history - we don’t know, we weren’t there - and there’s the motive for my work.’

‘I was lucky enough to be educated in the English Art School system, which encouraged the heuristic approach to playful discovery,’ she says. ‘Printmaking has been a natural progression from painting – the process allowing for a visually direct simplification of image.’

Ilona Sulikova

Ilona Sulikova makes large, full-bodied vessels and decorates them with intricate patterns that repeat, expand and contract as they travel around the form. She says: ‘I enjoy the contemplative process of hand building pots which balance on a narrow base. I decorate them with geometric patterns in order to create tension, rhythm and movement. The final Raku firing aims to achieve a fusion between pattern and form.

‘Art is intrinsic to human beings – it’s part of us – we can’t help it – and abstraction has been with us since the very beginning’.