Virginia Graham's (b. 1978) ceramics are curiously British, eccentric creations inspired by a bygone era. Her work has received Arts Council awards, has been featured on television and in many national publications including Country Living, Elle Decoration, Vogue and Homes and Gardens. She has exhibited internationally in Japan and the USA and in the UK at the V&A, Selfridges, the Crafts Council Gallery and the Royal College of Arts to name only a few. As a young artist who only began studio practice in 2000 she has achieved remarkable recognition.
'Everyone has objects and possessions that they are passionate about and value most highly. Often these objects are not valuable in monetary terms but are simply everyday things that evoke memories and experiences. For this reason they are propelled to a higher status than was originally intended.
My attention is drawn to the collector who consciously hoards objects. I make teapots and tea services because they are the ultimate in collectable ceramics; they are also ordinary objects that are instantly recognisable to the onlooker. I am fascinated by the way in which these objects; that were originally intended for use, are so often collected and displayed behind glass never to be used for feat of betraying their newfound status.
I use a combination of slip casting and hand building techniques to create forms with many components, often recreating objects and placing them out of context. For example, I frequently use a tap as a mug handle or a teapot lid. Their surfaces make reference to utilitarian wares from industrial ceramic history, including mochaware, cornishware and blue and white porcelain. Floral transfers, metallic lustres and found objects are the finishing touches to create eclectic pieces that are precious and collectable yet ordinary and familiar.'
Virginia Graham 2007